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Maker of pool cues from 1964 to present, starting in North Hollywood, California.
Bert Schrager grew up in Chicago, in a family that enjoyed billiards. Bert became more interested in the game while he was in the Navy in World War II. A mediocre three-cushion billiards player, Bert did manage to play Willie Hoppe at an exhibition in 1945. After the war, Bert eventually had a custom woodworking business in Chicago. Through his interest in billiards, he came to know Herman Rambow.
In 1962, Bert moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, and was soon working at "The Pool Table Store." In 1962, a customer brought in six cues that needed repair. With his background in custom woodworking, Bert agreed to fix the cues, one of which was split in two. He repaired this cue with glue and two hose clamps and re-tipped the others. After that experience, he knew he wanted to work on cues for a living.
He soon met Harvey Martin, who became Bert´s friend and inspiration. Harvey helped him build his first tipping lathe, and he was soon replacing tips for 25 cents each. By 1964, Bert made his first cue. With a bird´s-eye maple forearm and butt sleeve, it was very similar to Harvey Martin´s most popular cue. Bert continued to make this style of cue for years. When Bert decided to start making cues with spliced forearms, he spent four years perfecting his four-point, four-veneer blanks before he used one in a cue. Soon Bert was making six-point cues, a design for which he is credited with originating. Bert had not learned how to do inlay work, as Harvey believed it weakened the integrity of a cue. The inlays on early Schrager cues were done by a man named Howard Vermillion. But soon Bert was doing his own inlays.
Once Lou Butera started playing on the tour with a custom Schrager cue in the 1970s, Bert´s work became popular with pros around the world. Working in North Hollywood, Bert has also made cues for many top celebrities. One of the first to sell cues in Japan, he is recognized as a living legend there.
Although his early cues are unmarked, cues made since 1986 will have "By Schrager" written in an ivory oval for identification. Four-, five-, six-, eight-, and nine-point cues are available, and Bert likes to make longer points than most other cuemakers. Schrager cues are famous for featuring lots of ivory, and the inlays are deeper than most. Bert´s wife, Pat, does all of the inlay work by hand on a manual pantograph. They have been married since 1972, and she has always been very supportive of the business.
Bert has twice come very close to buying a CNC machine, but could not bring himself to do it. His cues are designed with playability as the most important aspect, and he prefers the hit of a 3/8-10 flat-faced micarta or ivory joint. He does not like to use stainless steel on this type of joint as he says it makes too much noise. Stainless steel is available on his piloted 5/16-14 joint, which he feels provides more of a stiff East Coast-style hit. Wood joints are available for billiards players. In 1998, he changed from micarta ferrules to Ivorine-3 ferrules because he didn´t like the way that micarta ferrules yellowed with age. Bert has carried on with the inspiration of Harvey Martin, and has inspired many of the new generation of cuemakers. He loves to see his cues in the hands of players. His cues are extremely popular in Japan and demand for his work there continues to rise every year. However, Bert has slowed down his cuemaking in recent years.
Schrager cues are guaranteed indefinitely against construction defects that are not the result of warpage or abuse. If you have a Schrager or Martin cue that needs further identification or repair, or would like to talk to Bert about the design of a new custom cue, contact Bert Schrager, listed in the trademark index.

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