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1907 Catalogue

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  • 1907 Catalogue

    I might have mentioned before that I have a reproduction of a 1907 Army & Navy Stores catalogue of 1907. There are a couple of pages on "Billiard Tables". The society claims it can get tables from all the leading makers, the one illustrated in an engraving is marked as being made by "Stevens & Sons". (I had originally read it as Stevensons but I am sure that is not correct). Does anybody know anything about this maker?

    It is worth noting that the standard table they supplied then in mahogany is 52 pounds, the one specially packed for export in zinc lined cases is almost 65 whilst the hand carved oak "Exhibition" table would set you back 110 quid. That might sound cheap but it was more than a years wages to plenty of people then.

  • #2
    The Stevens family is a bit of a genealogical nightmare as many family members were involved in the billiard trade. It simplifies matters a little to say that in 1907 there were just two distinct businesses operating as billiard table manufacturers.

    The most prominent of these was "R. Stevens and Sons" based at Charing Cross, and Battersea. The company was founded in 1830, possibly by a Richard Stevens, although the "R" seems to have been added during the time the company was operated by Richard Nelson Stevens, from 1889 to 1908. This style of name persisted until at least 1915 which is the last reference I have to them. Just to confuse things, they also traded as simply "Stevens & Sons" which was the name almost exclusively used prior to Richard Stevens' involvement.

    In addition there was a "W. [William] Stevens & Sons" who operated from premises in Acton. The first reference I have to this company appears in 1896 and is the only incarnation of the various family businesses, connected or otherwise, which endured much beyond the first world war. They were eventually taken over by John Bennett & Co in 1967.