US701254A - Billiard-table cushion. - Google Patents

Billiard-table cushion. Download PDF


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US701254A US1902091963A US701254A US 701254 A US701254 A US 701254A US 1902091963 A US1902091963 A US 1902091963A US 701254 A US701254 A US 701254A
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Moses Bensinger
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    • A63D15/00Billiards, e.g. carom billiards; Billiard tables; Pocket billiards, i.e. pool
    • A63D15/06Cushions or fastenings therefor


No. 70|,254. Patented May 27, I902.



(Application filed Jan. 31, 1902.)

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SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 701,254, dated May 27, 1902.

Application filed January 31,1902- Serial No. 91,963. (No model.)

To all whom, it may concern:

Be it known that I, Mosns BENSINGER, of Ohicago, county of Cook, State of Illinois, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Billiard-Table Cushions; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description of the same, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, forming part of this specification.

My invention relates to what are commonly known as billiard-table cushions or to What are more frequently denominated by billiardtable manufacturers and rubber-goods manufacturers as the cushion-strips of billiardtables.

As is well known to every one skilled in the arts to which my invention appertains, these cushion-strips are of a shape in cross-section.

which approximately corresponds to that of an equilateral triangle, two of the four strips for use on a carom-table being of lengths sufficient to be fitted to the long side rails of the table, while the other two strips are of lengths which adapt them to the shorter end rails. As is also well known, about all cushion-strips now manufactured are composed of some rubber compound that is both molded into final shape or form and also vulcanized in metallic molds, after which they are securely fastened by cementation to the (soft wood) linings of the hard-wood cushionrails of the table in such a manner that after having been properly covered with the green cloth and applied to the billiardtable bed (by the usual cushion-rail bolts) the balls played on the table-bed will contact with what is usually denominated the nose of the cushion at a point in the spherical surface of the ba1l--tl1at is, above the level in which lies the center of the ball-so that the impact of a ball on the nose (and workingface) of the cushion operates to both force backward and to elevate the particles of the rubber compound composing the nose and the parts in proximity thereto of the cushion. It is also well understood by those skilled in the art of making'and Well understanding the mechanical action of billiard-table cushion of the usual general form and general structural qualities operates to produce a concussive action of the ivory ball on the cloth covering of the table-bed,which pounding, as it is commonly called, of the balls on the expensive green cloth soon gutters it in lines parallel with and approximately immediately beneath the noses of the series of cushions, rendering the playing-surface of the table unfit for accurate play, and that this objection is more or less aggravated, according to what may be the precise shape (in cross-section) and the particular structural qualities or peculiarities of the cushion-strip; second, that cushion-strips vary intheir operations and effects not only as to the par ticulars first above alluded to, but also as to speed or qnicknessthat is, the degree of celerity with which a ball is played with a given degree of force against the cushion will rebound from thensame-or as to the legs which a ball will have played with a given stroke-in other Words, as to how many cushions can be made on the table; third, that aside from these considerations, what is called the accuracy of the cushion-11 e., its capability to deflect a ball played against it at a proper angle, so that the angles of incidence and reflection will be substantially the same-depends on the shape, the relative position to the bed, the structural qualities, and the qualities of the ingredients composing the cushion-strip, and, fourth, that the durability or lasting quality of the cushion (which means the capacity of a cushion to maintain for a long time Whatever desirable active qualities it may be found to possess when first put into use) depends on some or all of the considerations relating to shape, construction, quality of ingredients, dsc, herein-above alluded to. All these things are matters, I say, with which the skilled and experienced makers and users of billiard-table cushions are supposed to be more or less familiar but it is necessary to understand them all in at least a general way and hear them all well in mind in order to perfectly understand the character or nature of my invention from the description thereof which I am about to give, and which invention has resulted from a close study of the subject-matter of cushion-strips metallic,usually castiron,mold, over or on top of which-is placed the male member of the mold, and the two parts are then forcibly secured together, usually by clamping-screws, after which the molded article is submitted (in the mold) for the proper length of time to the requisite degree of heat to effectuate the vulcanizing process, and, as is well known to the expert rubber-goods manufacturer, the completed article is not in its best condition for use immediately after having been thus made, but, on the contrary, cannot be put onto a billiard-table and operate satisfactorily until quite a long time after the completion of its manufacture. Some chemical change occurs or continues for quite awhile after the vulcanizing process shall have been completed and before the cushion will give the best and desired results in actual operation. This is true of cushion-strips of many various constructions comprising ingredients of different qualities, and although it is quite well settled by experts in the art of making cushions and those experienced in their uses on a billiard-table that no vulcanized cushion will operate properly within less than from one to two months after its manufacture it is also known that while such cushion will be at its best a few months after it shall have been made the same made cushion may turn out to have not gotten to a condition to develop perfection in action until a year or more after the time when it was made, yet no one, no matter how great may have been his experience and observations in the art of making vulcanized-rubber compound cushion-strips,no matter how careful may have been his study and researches in the matter of the operations of cushions made as nearly alike as possible, but put into use at different lengths of time after the completion of their manufacture, can tell anything definite about what length of time a cushion of a given make must be left in disuse in order to develop the best possible action when it shall be put onto or into a billiard-table.

As is well known to those skilled in the art, cushion -strips have been made and used formed or provided with various means operating to render the working face, as it is called, of the cushion harder than the rest of the cushion, and the variety of what are known in the art as face-hardening devices heretofore and now in use has been almost innumerable.

The face of the rubber compound strip has usually been made harder-to prevent too much embediment therein of the ball, and hence avoid too much inaccuracy of the angles of incidents and reflection, to vary the speed of the cushion, and to effect greater endurance or durability of the cushion (especially of late years) by the embodiment within the cushion or the incorporation in the mass of molded compound of some sort of hardening device or means located comparatively close to the working face and nose of the cushion-strip and secured in place by or during the process of vulcanization of the strip. For instance, one or more layers or thicknesses of canvas have been molded and vulcanized in the cushion, such ribbon-like strips being placed close to the working face and parallel therewith, extending widthwise from about the root of. the cushion up very nearly to the top surface of the latter, but located wholly within the molded mass of compound.

One or more narrow strips of various material-a ribbon-like strip of steel, a similar strip of hard-rubber compound and of wood fiber, with or without fibrous coverings or envelops-have been molded and vulcanized in the cushion-strip, with the upper edge of such strip located just within the nose of the cushion and running thence off Widthwise either downwardly parallel with the working face or downward and obliquely thereto. Again, a metallic wire has been placed taut in the female mold, either in a naked condition or incased in a tubular woven fabric, or so incased and also having a canvas wrapping thereof extended down apronlike toward and close to the root of the cushion, the compound placed around such device,


and the strip then molded and vulcanized, so

that the face-hardening device of the finished cushion would comprise the molded-in wire (provided either with a wrapping of textile fabric with or without a depending ribbon-like portion or in a naked condition) located just within the nose of the cushion.

While in the manufacture of some cushionstrips it is sought to attain the desired working qualities of the nose and working face of the compound strip by simply molding on said face and over said nose a canvas or closely-woven cloth, which latter is first laid in the female mold and the compound for the and largely made and used, and just in proportion as professional players become more experienced and perfected in play, and amateurs at clubs, and in the general public which patronize billiards become more expert, are all classes rendered more competent to distinguish between cushions having slightly-different modes of actions and inclined to demand for use a kind of cushion possessing in the most eminent degree all the best playing qualities of a billiard-cushion, such as a desirable degree of quickness, (or speed,) accuracy of angles, responsiveness to balls making slight or delicate contacts.

The question of the durability of the cushion (which, as I have before mentioned, means the capacity of a cushion to retain for a longer or shorter time all its original desirable qualities) is most important, however, to the owner of the billiard-table, be the latter a table for private or for public use, because as soon as the cushions of a table begin to lose their perfection of action the necessity arises of putting in a new set, which is rather a costly repair. Hence in considering the question of how to provide for use the most acceptable and satisfactory billiard-table cushion the manufacturer must solve the problem of how to produce a cushion which, while it shall possess in the greatest degree practically possible all the requisites of a cushion with perfect action, shall at the same time possess the attribute of what I have called the cushions durability to such an extent as to render the article capable of use at reasonable expense. Upon this vital question of durability much thought, time, and expense have for years now been expended to the end and object of making cushion-strips having the proper or the desired mode of action that will retain their efficacy longer than usual, and in the efforts made to accomplish this great desideratum I have found that while that construction of cushion (to which I have hereinbefore alluded) having no sort of incorporated facehardening device is made to possess a reasonable degree of endurance every sort of cushion-strip containing any kind of face-hardening device under the exercise of the greatest care in the processof manufacture and with the use of various expedients is most defective in this quality of endurance.

Reasoning from the fact that wherever a face-hardening device is incorporated in the rubber-compound strip the latter is invariably inferior in the particular of durability, I concluded that any such incorporated device must have something to do with the difficulty encountered, and by experimenting to find out what, if any, chemical effect might be produced on that small portion of the rubber compound comprising the nose and the upper part of the working face of the strip I learned that while in the case of some sorts of hardening devices there was doubtless some chemical action which operated to deteriorate,

so to speak, the quality of these parts of the vulcanized strip in the case of other devices the presence of the latter could not well produce any chemical action leading to the defeet sought to be cured.

I learned by experiment, for instance, that in the manufacture of a cushion some time ago devised and patented by me and used very extensively with satisfactory results, though open to improvement on this point of endurance, having for a face-hardening device a thin narrow strip of hard-rubber compound molded in close to the working face and parallel therewith, this strip of hard-rubber compound molded in caused that part of the compound in close proximity to the hard-rubber strip, and hence the portion of the compound composing the nose and the upper part of the working face, to become overcured, as the rubber-manufacturer terms the carrying too far of the heating and vulcanizing process; but I also learned that in the case of a strip having a molded-in piano-wire close to the nose and working face of the cushion this same overcuring, which is known to render the cushion lacking in endurance, resulted. Concluding from this course of experimenting that while the metallic face-hardening device seemed to have no chemical effect on the compound of the strip its presence was certainly instrumental in some way in injuriously affecting, probably by overcuring, the particles composing the nose and upper part of the cushion-strip. I divined that in all reasonable probability the small quantity of the compound located in the molding operation between the metallic face-hardening device and the nose of the cushion and also the small portion of compound contiguous to the upper and rear portions, so to speak, of the wire were more quickly heated and more rapidly took up the sulfur than any other parts of the compound mass during the vulcanizing process and that by reason thereof the durability of the cushions nose was injuriously affected. I thereafter discovered by placing the wire farther away from the nose and working face of the cushion-strip that the latters nose after vulcanization would come out of the mold in very much the perfect and desirable condition always observable in the other superficial parts of the manufactured strip. Having thus solved the question of how to make a cushion-strip having an incorporated face-hardening strip that would possess a nose and a playing-face portion possessing the quality of great endurance, by reason of these portions not being overcured, but perfectly vulcanized, I next experimented to find out whether the placement farther back or away from the nose of the metallic face-hardening device operated to injuriously affect the action of the cushion, and by experiment and practice have demonstrated that with the wire placed approximately a quarter of an inch in rear of the outer surface of the nose the cush-= ion will possess all the good qualities in ac tion or play of the same cushion with the wire placed as close as practically possible to the outer surface of the molded compound where the nose of the cushion is formed. 1

While there is an almost inappreciable reduction in the speed of the cushion, the placement of the wire, aslhave just stated, in my improved cushion renders the angles in playing much nearer perfection than in the case of the same cushion with the wire arranged close to the outer surface of the compound.

Based upon the above-mentioned discoveries, I propose by my invention to provide for use a better cushion than ever before made1l. e., a cushion having the speed and more than the accuracy of any other facehardened strip while at the same time vastly more durable.

To these ends and object my invention may be said to consist, essentially, in a billiardcushion strip made of any approved rubber compound having some sort of face-hardening device incorporated therein and united therewith during the molding and vulcanizing processes, butlocated farther back from the nose and playing-surface of the finished strip" than usual, allin a manner and for purposes which will be hereinafter more fully explained and as willbe most particularly pointed out in theclaim of this specification.

In order that those skilled in the art of making rubber-cushion strips and using them in the. manufacture of billiard-tables may fully understand and practice my invention, I will now proceed to more fully describe it, referring by letters to the accompanying drawings, which form part of this specification, and in which I have illustrated the carrying into efiect of my improvement in precisely the manner in which I have sofar successfully practiced it,though it may,of course, be carried out under some mere modifications thereof. o

In the drawings, Figure 1 is a partial vertical cross-section of a billiard-table cushionrail and bed playing-surface illustrating my improved cushion-strip applied to a billiardtable. Fig. 2 is a cross-sectional View of an ordinary form of metallic mold, in which are molded and vulcanized cushion-strips and shown a strip in each of the three cavities or moldingboxes, to be presently explained. Fig. 3 is a viewsimilar to Fig. 1, but showing only the cushion-strip and that made slightly differently from the cushion of Fig. 1. Fig. 4 is a view similar to Fig. 3, but showing a variation in the cushion. Fig. 5 is a partial top and sort of diagrammatical view showing small portions of thebed and cushion for the purpose of an illustration of something to be hereinafter explained. Fig. a view similar to Fig. 5 for use for an analogous purpose. Fig. 'Z is a partial vertical cross-section of the cushion-rail and playing-surface of the tablebed and a billiard-ball represented in the act of striking the nose or playing-surface of the cushion.

compoundedingredients known for manufacturing billiard-cushion strips, and is prefererably of the cross-sectional form shown, which is substantially followed nowadays by almost all cushion-makers.

The cushion C in use is mounted, about as usual, on the lining G (see Figs. 1 and 7) of the cushion-rail H, (see Fig. 1,) so that its obliquely-arranged working face i bears the usual relationship to the playing-surface I of the bed, and its nosef is located at the usual elevation above said bed, which, as well known, is such that the said nose lies in a line somewhat higher than is the center of the standard size of billiard-ball.

e is a wire having wrapped around it one edge of a ribbon-like strip or apron-like piece of textile fabric, preferably a closely-woven canvas, (or other non-stretchable fabric,) which extends downward toward and nearly to the root of the strip, as seen at Z, (see Figs. 1, 2, and 7,) this wire, thus tied down to the root of the cushion, constituting a face-hardening device heretofore devised by me, patented, and in very extensive use, that I deem about the best device for the purpose, and

hence preferably used in carrying into effect my present invention. The latter does not, however, necessarily involve this or any other specific form of face-hardener, but maybe praeticedwith the use of any approved facehardener, my invention involving merely a new arrangement or location relatively to the nosefof the metallic device e or some other face-hardener. 1

d is the usual semicylindrical cavity or recess running along the back side of the strip and for a long time back adopted by about all cushion-strip manufacturers for the double purpose of rendering the strip more elastic and active in repulsing balls played against it, or, in other words, affording a greater mobility of the stock or material of the strip and at the same time economizingmaterial in the manufactured goods.

To make my improved cushion-strip, the same molds are used and the same processes carried out as in the case of making cushions such as previously made.

A cast-iron mold A (see Fig. 2) has cut in it a series of V-shaped grooves or depressions, each of the proper size and shape fora cushion-strip, and after such depression shall have been filled in with the rubber compound and the incorporated face-hardener a covering on its lower surface with bead-like projections g, that form or mold (in the plastic stock) the depression 61 (seen at Figs. 1 and 7) is applied with sufficient (excessive) force to squeeze out of the female member any superfluous compound, after which the mold and its contents are placed, as usual, in the oven or furnace,where the contents of the mold is properly vulcanized.

The whole w'iodus operand t followed in making my improved cushion as well as the ingredients used are precisely the same as in the case of making an analogous form of cushion-strip of the old-fashioned kind.

To illustrate, the cushion O, with its combined piano-wire e and canvas Z (to form its face-hardening device) that I have shown at Figs. 2 and 3, is made, it will be seen, by

precisely the same method as that employed to make the cushion O; and this is equally true with reference to the cushion seen at C Figs. 2 and 4, in which a naked Wire c (without any canvas apron) is used as the facehardener. The whole pith and essence,there-v fore, of my novel construction of cushion lies simply in locating or placing the face-hardening device (in the case shown the wrapped 'nose f (which comprising an angle or apex of the compound, and hence liable to be heated quicker and cured more any Way than any other portion of the operative part of the cushion) is overcured or its designed qualities spoiled by overvulcanization before the rest of the stock is properly vulcanized by reason of the particles of the compound of the nose being acted upon by the heated wire or by reason of being held and pressed closely against the inner surface of the mold A, (see Fig. 2;) but Whatever be the correct theory or the rationale of the change the fact is that simply by the change I have made in the location of the incorporated metallic face-hardener I have produced a cushion otherwise like previous cushions and made by precisely the same method or process of manufacture that is far superior in the quality of endurance or the maintenance of its original desirable features of action to any cushion ever made before. This fact I have demonstrated by experiment and actual practice. Not only this, but in my improved cushion experiment and practice have demonstrated that not only has the change in the location of the face-hardening device not impaired the desirable active qualities of the for among" experienced billiard-table makers and students of the game of billiards that the presence of some face-hardening device located immediately within or in rear of the nose and face of the rubber-compound strip is an indispensable adjunct to a satisfactorilyoperating cushion on the hypothesis that the nose and working face of the cushion-strip made of a sufficiently elastic and pure compound are too soft, or, in other Words, permit too much embedment of the ball (on all strokes of average or medium force) to get good results as to correctness of angles, and years of experiment, thought, and great expense have been bestowed on eiforts tosolve the problem of what sort of face-hardening device best be used in this way.

It is true to a certain extent that in the use of a cushion of good-that is, durable and highly-elastic-material made without any face hardener a ball played pretty hard against the nose fat an anglesuch, for instance, as indicated by the dotted line 1 2 at Fig. 5-.will embed itself in the stock of the cushion so much (as indicated by the dotted line c) as to be thrown off from or deflected by the cushion as per dotted line a; ainstead of leaving the cushion at an angle indicated by the dotted line 2 3, and the reasons for this are obvious; but it is also true that while too great embedment, as illustrated by the depression E (seen at Fig. 6) may be avoided in playing the same stroke by the presence of a face-hardener placed close to the face or nose of the cushion so as to get the effect illustrated at E, there are objections to the mode of action of the cushion illustrated at E, since in such case the angle of reflection may vary more from that of incidence than in the other case by reason of some sliding movement of the ivory ball on the (hard) cushionface before it is deflected from the cushion.

I have found by experiment and practice that in. the use of my improved cushion when a ball is played against it with a force more than that of the majority of strokes used in the experts game the action (approximately illustrated at Fig. 7) is such that the impact of the ball will displace the particles of rubber compound mass about as illustrated by the dotted line f and the ball will be re pelled with about the same force (or Will be given the same legs and will make or take as good an angle as in the case of the cushion having the same face-hardening device, located, for instance, as seen at Fig. 4, while at the same time the cushion, as seen at Fig. 7, will act initially with a repellent force that does not tend to make the ball impinge so forcibly on the playing-surface of the bed, and therefore repels the ball with less of that well-known injurious effect on the bed-cloth which operates to gutter the cloth. Thus it will be seen that as the result of the change I have made a cushion-strip is produced at precisely the same cost of manufacture,

which while it is quite equal in all its operative or active qualities to any heretofore made possesses the capacity of vastly great-er endurance or durability than any prior cushion.

It will of course be understood that in practicing my invention and reaping either in greater or less degree the fruits or benefits thereof it is not necessary to follow precisely the details as to the location of the wire 6 that I have shown in the full-sized drawings which make part of this specification, since an immaterial change in location in either direction would lead to only a colorable variation in results. I also Wish it to be understood that while under existing circumstances about the positioning of the wire e shown may be productive of the Very best results it may be found expedient, in View of some change in the game or in the way of playing" it, to set the wire 6 farther back than is necessary for the explained purposes and results of my invention, in order, perhaps, to make the cushion slower, in which case I should have the right to so increase the distance between the nose fand the face-hardener for such new and additional requirements.

What I claim as new, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is-

A billiard-cushion strip composed of a suitable rubber compound, having some suitable face-hardening device molded in; united with the mass of compound by the vulcanizing process to, which the latter is subjected; and located so far within the mass, as specified, that the nose, or playing-surface of the cushion, will not be overcured, or injuriously affected by the proper vulcanizing of the strip; all substantially as and for the purposes hereinbefore set forth.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 21st day of January, 1902.




US701254A 1902-01-31 1902-01-31 Billiard-table cushion. Expired - Lifetime US701254A (en)

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