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  BestQualityToys.com :: Carrom History

  Carrom History

About Us: History

1890s | 1900s | 1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s
1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

The Carrom Company was organized in 1889 and has provided over a century of entertainment for young and old alike. From games of strategy and skill to games of just plain fun, Carrom was a part of American family life for our grandparents and will be around for our grandchildren in the years to come. Below is a chronological timeline with each decade in Carrom's history highlighted with a vintage ad showing how Carrom has changed with the times. (All information and pictures are from the Carrom Company archives.)

Please also visit our Vintage Carrom Boards page if you are interested in further information on the Carrom Game Boards.

1890s
In the last quarter of the 19th century Henry Haskell, a Sunday School teacher, viewed with alarm the growing number of boys who loafed around pool rooms. (Ironically, the company would eventually manufacture pool tables.) Haskell had an inventive mind and he concentrated his thought on supplying a game which would appeal to these boys and supply wholesome enjoyment. Soon after, Haskell patented and introduced the U.S. Carrom game board. Produced at Ludington Novelty Works (Ludington, MI) of which he was part owner.


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1900s
Ludington Novelty Works and Archarena Company of Peoria, IL., merge and become Carrom-Archarena Co. Production stays in Ludington. (1901)

Gameboard display rack introduced. (c. 1903)

Beautiful line of billiard and pool tables also manufactured along with many varieties of wood furniture.


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1910s
J.S. Stearns, a wealthy industrialist, purchases an interest in the company and becomes president. Haskell was secretary.

Name changed to Carrom Company. (1914)

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1920s
The Carrom Company continued to grow and prosper until the late 1920's when the Great Depression began. The company was kept alive only because of the determination of the Stearns' interests to maintain as much employment as possible during a difficult time.


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1930s
"Carrom Boy" first appears in advertisements (1930).

Carrom Baseball game board (style BB) introduced (1937). Lew Fonseca rules added in 1938. Highly collectible boards today. Carrom Company enters the field of institutional furniture manufacturing (c. 1937). This was a new field for Carrom and a lot of money and effort went into making the proper entrance. The strain proved too great for Carrom which was close to bankruptcy by the end of the 1930's.

Name changed to Carrom Industries (1939)


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1940s
Henry Haskell dies. (1940)
Will Ross, Inc., of Milwaukee purchases Carrom Industries. It's interest in Carrom lay in the hospital furniture field. (c. 1941)

Nok-Hockey introduced. (c. 1942)

During WWII, Carrom Industries made large folding tables to display maps for the military while in the field.


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1950s
Shampaine Industries of St. Louis, MO. buys Carrom Industries (1951). Institutional furniture makes up the largest part of the company's
volume.

 

 



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1960s
Three Carrom Industries employees break away and form Merdel Manufacturing (1960) which directly competes with Carrom Industries. Merdel uses one "R" on their Carom game boards. Both companies are in Ludington, MI. Lawsuits eventually follow.
Plastic corner first used on game board by Merdel Manufacturing (1961). Invented by Robert Erickson.

Affiliated Hospital Products, Inc., purchases Shampaine Industries. (c. 1967)

Carrom Games Division moves their game production to Red Lion, PA. for a brief time. (c. 1968)


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1970s
Carrom Games Division moves production to Sardis, MI. (1972). Merdel Manufacturing purchases remaining assets of now defunct Carrom Games Division and can use two "R"s in Carrom. All production is in Ludington. (c.1972)


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1980s
The Lightning Group (Duncannon, PA.) purchases Merdel Manufacturing. (1981)

 

 

 



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1990s
Carrom Company purchases the Drueke Company and moves its manufacturing operation from Grand Rapids, MI., to Ludington. Drueke is well known for its quality chess, cribbage, backgammon and other board games. (1990)

Name changes back to the Carrom Company. (1994)

Carrom Company purchases remaining assets of bankrupt Recreational Products and moves production of their adult-size air powered hockey, foosball, and pool tables to Ludington. This creates the Carrom Sports division. (1996)


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2000s

 

 

Visit our Current Carrom Products Page

 


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