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Juniata Students Rack Up Leisure Time with Donated Antique Pool Table

(Posted January 28, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Many colleges and universities offer pool tables as a student activity, but oftentimes these tables are heavily used and end up stained with soda, food and substances better left to the imagination. Not so at Juniata College, where students queue up to wield cues on a fully restored 1912 antique pool table.

The 10-foot by 5-foot billiards behemoth (most modern tables are 41/2 feet by 9 feet) was meticulously restored by 1966 Juniata graduate John Stauffer and his son, Tad, a 2001 graduate. The Stauffers donated the 2,000-pound table to the college and the table was installed on the second floor of Ellis College Center, Juniata's main student activities building, in January.

"The pool table is so big that the Stauffers and our facilities workers had to bring it in sections into the building," says Dawn Scialabba, director of campus activities. "The students are very conscientious about keeping the table in good shape and they are really excited that they can play for free."

The six-legged pool table, is a 1912 Kling model manufactured by the Brunswick-Blake-Collender Co. in Muskegon, Mich. According to Stauffer's research, the table was used in several poolrooms in Chester, Pa. The table is made from Circassian walnut and the rail caps are made from Brazilian rosewood. The diamond-shaped sights along the table rails that help players line up shots were originally made of ivory. Stauffer restored the sights by using ivory from discarded piano keys.

The table has a fully functional original ball-return system and John Stauffer also donated cues, racks, billiard balls, a lighting system and other equipment for the table. The look of the table is described in the company's original literature: "It carries a suggestion of the Classic Greek (period) and ancient Egyptian."

Stauffer, a resident of Spring House, Pa., is director of the Paint Quality Institute of Rohm and Haas Co. in Philadelphia. "Hopefully the table will help beyond its entertainment value and inspire students to recognize the opportunity to give back to the college in some form."

Scialabba says the table is used constantly during the day, continuing on through to midnight at the closing of the student activity window, where students must check out the table's billiard balls. "There are a few rules, such as no food or drink near the table and everyone must keep at least one foot on the floor during a shot, but overall the table has been a big hit," she says.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.