Geo. Wright & Co.

Geo. Wright & Co.

 - Specialist in Billiard Dining Tables.

Sadly there is little in the Heritage Collection concerning this Billiard firm but with help from Peter Aisworth some salient details have been recorded and if any one can provide further information it would be of great interest. Currently the only picture of a table made by them is taken from a auction catalogue in 1981. The table was listed as being an 'oak three quarter size (presumably a 9ft) Billiard table with detachable five leaf dining top on four gadrooned baluster supports interconnected by worm gearing so as to provide adjustment between dinning table and billiard table height.

Geo Wright Billiard Table

The business, according to the 1926 B.A. & C.C. Rule book was founded in 1868. George Wright, the founder was born in 1847, based on the obituary published in the Billiard player dated March 1927, and moved to London when he was 14 years old.

It would seem that in the early years they specialised in Billiard Diner Tables, bagatelle tables and the like as they were advertising in 1870 as Wright and Co. operating from 162/164 Westminster Bridge Road. Their advert reads -

 "Wright & Co. have now on sale their superior billiard and dining table combined. It can be made the proper height for either purpose by simple adjusting screw; the frame is so constructed as to be no inconvenience to the knee in sitting at the table".

By 1876 the had taken more space as their address is recorded as being 158/162 Westminster Bridge Road. In the Billiard book dated 1877,written by Crawley, the firm is refereed to Geo. Wright & Co.

The business must have been marketing its products well and also exporting Billiard tables as they won Gold medals at exhibitions in Australia and new Zealand in the early 1880's.

They were claiming by the mid 1880's to have the largest showroom in England with over "100 tables in stock to select from".

It is also reported that in 1890 Geo. Wrights made a special Billiard table at a lower height to suit W.J. Peall who was 'short in stature'. John Roberts comment was - ' There is no doubt that a tall man is under nearly as much disadvantage with the present table as a short man was under a table of the pre Peall height'.

The founder of the business George Wright retired from the business in 1896 according to a letter sent to Norman Clare in 1988. The letter was from a member of the Wright family (his great grandfather was George Wrights uncle). In the letter it said that in his obituary it was noted that George Wright left the business to his brother, Henry Wright, in 1898. It also went on to inform that George Wright became a Brick manufacturer. He was also a JP in Middlesex, an Alderman of Middlesex County Council and in 1926 was Knighted.

GW_plate3

A cushion plate circa 1894

Geo Wrights had a match room in Argyll Street, Oxford Circus which were opened in 1894 keeping there manufacturing at the Westminster Bridge Road premises.

Geo. Wright Billiard Table plate

A cushion plate circa 1902

Also in 1902 the registration of a patent covering a convertible dinning and billiard table was registered by F.R Wright, which indicates the business was still heavily involved in billiard dinning tables. They registered further patents for convertible billiard tables in 1904.

Also in 1904 a series of letters concerning which company were the first to manufacture of full size billiard dinning tables was entered into via the pages of 'The World of Billiards'. A claim by a Mr. Calvert in a report on a match between C. Haverson v W. Osborn sparked off the series of letters. The report and letters follow -

World of Billiards 1904 

28/9/1904 - World of Billiards

WB_19101904

19/10/1904 - World of Billiards

WB_02111904 

02/11/1904- World of Billiards

WB_09111904

16/11/1904- World of Billiards

WB_16121904

16/11/1904- World of Billiards

It is also noted that the renovations mentioned in the final article on the 'spate' were finished and would reopen on 5th December 1904. The work having been carried out 'under the personal superintendence of Mr. H. Wright (presumably George Wrights brother who took over the business in 1896). The business was also registered as Geo. Wright & Co. Ltd.

Billiard Table plate

The cushion plate circa 1904, seems to also indicate that they had premises in Manchester as well.

In 1907 the business transferred from Westminster Bridge Road to the Argyll Street Address and it was deemed necessary to have a letter published explaining that they had not closed but just moved and neither were they associated with any other business.

However in 1908 it was reported that a new company registered on 11th May 1908, titled Geo. Wright and Co. Ltd. had taken over the well know and long established business of the same name. Mr W. Chas Vincent, late manager and receiver of the old Company had been appointed manager of the new Company (was this a 'pre-package deal !!?). The Company again issued a special notice concerning adverse and unfound rumours concerning the business.

Billiard Cushion plate

cushion plate circa 1910

Geo Wright billiard cloth swatch

Billiard Cloth sample swatch circa 1914


In 1923 the Company seems to have again suffered a 'problem' and was registered as Geo. Wright & Co (1923) Ltd. still with the & Argyll Street address.

As previously mention the founder George Wright died in early 1927 having retired from the business some 30 years earlier.

The problems being faced by Geo. Wrights meant that by 1928 it was taken over by Orme & Sons Ltd. of Manchester

Geo Wright & Ormes Billiard Cushion plate

cushion plate circa 1930 - with both Orme's & Wrights name on them

Orme & Sons were themselves merged shortly after with Burroughes & Watts and the London address changed to 19 Soho Square, being Burroughes & Watts building.

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Acknowledgements - Peter Ainsworth , World of Billiards magazine, Cushion plates from the Norman Clare collection

©2012 Peter Clare - this article can only be reproduce with permission from E.A. Clare & Son Ltd.

All items displayed are from the N. Clare collection. Reproduction of article allowed only with permission from E.A. Clare & Son Ltd.

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