VIKING CUE MANUFACTURING INC.
Maker of pool cues from 1965 to present, currently in Madison, Wisconsin.
ordon Hart started playing "Carom," a board game similar to billiards, in the fourth grade. He was unable to play outdoors at the time, because of an unknown virus that he had for a couple of years. By the seventh grade, with the help of his father and grandfather, Gordon was able to acquire a pool table for the family home. Eventually, Gordon was working in his father´s paint contracting business, but a big portion of his time was devoted to his passion of playing pool.
Gordon left his father´s business and opened his own pool room in Stoughton, Wisconsin. Because of Stoughton´s Norwegian heritage, he named it The Viking. He soon had more rooms in other towns. Eventually, he started experimenting with making cues in the basement of The Viking, hence the birth of the Viking cue. Around this time, Gordon married his wife, Nancy, who has been very active in the company ever since.
During these years, Viking cues were sold at tournaments such as the famous Hustlers Jamboree in Johnston City, Illinois, and the Stardust Tournaments in Vegas, run by the Jansco brothers, George and Paulie. The cues became a favorite of many of the top tournament players at that time. Gordon moved the cue business to its present location in Madison, Wisconsin. With lifelong friend Fred Schulze, Gordon and Nancy expanded production capabilities and began selling cues all over the U.S.
From these humble beginnings Viking became one of the biggest manufacturers of pool cues. Since then, Viking has greatly expanded their domestic and international market. They have employed as many as 92 people at one time, running three shifts. An accomplishment they have taken pride in is elevating their reputation from that of a low-priced cue to that of an impeccable quality cue with prices ranging from $150 to $10,000. With the passing of time they have also grown to become one of the foremost repair facilities in the country for quality, timeliness, and reasonably priced repairs on cues of all brands.
Most Viking cues are easily identifiable by the Viking logo on the butt cap. Some early cues will have the Viking logo under a clear plastic window in the butt sleeve. Viking cues continue to go through constant improvements. Early cues had European tapered shafts, which has progressed to a long professional taper.
As the 1980s came to a close, Gordon invested heavily in research and development in order to construct better hitting cues. As a result of this research, he updated machinery and invested in state-of-the-art equipment. Since 1990, Gordon and Nancy have worked at achieving an aggressive promotional program and quality improvement plan. The results are better playing cues with the top-of-the-line quality. They have even broken into the high-end custom cues just to show what they are capable of. In 1996 Viking started an annual Design-A-Cue Contest, with the winner having their design made into a cue. They introduced their "VM" (Viking Millennium) Series in the summer of 1999.
With the introduction of the Millenium series came several new developments for Viking cues. The current interchangeable weight bolt system, which had been developed over the course of many years, was introduced on the Millenium Series. At the same time, the current finger joint for attaching the handle section to the forearm replaced the earlier metal pin. And Viking introduced their new capped and threaded ferrule, made from a proprietary material which they have never seen crack after seven years of use on thousands of cues.
Gordon was the first cuemaker honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Cuemakers Association. Nancy was the first woman to serve on the board of the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America, going on to become the first woman president of that institute. She also was an active member who has served on the board of the Billiard Congress of America for almost ten years.
Viking Cue Mfg. Inc. is a very successful family business. Although Gordon and Nancy still spend time at the company, their son and two daughters have taken over day-to-day management. Their son, Barry, is vice president. He manages the production facilities and is involved in marketing. His sister Robin (Hart) Kneebone is Chief Financial Officer and she manages the office area. Viking continues to employ many skilled craftsmen for custom and production cues. Some of these craftsmen have been with Viking Cue for more than 30 years. Eveything is made in-house in the USA except for the tips.
Viking stocks thousands of standard model cues, so immediate delivery is possible. Viking also maintains a custom shop, allowing for any dimensions, designs, materials, tips, etc. to be possible. Most custom orders can be filled within three weeks.
If you have a Viking cue that needs further identification or repair, or
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