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Brunswick Corporation

Brunswick Corporation
Traded as NYSE: BC
Industry Conglomerate
Founded September 15, 1845
Founder John Moses Brunswick
Headquarters Lake Forest, IL, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Dustan E. McCoy
(Chairman of the Board) & (CEO)
Revenue $ 3.838 billion (2014)[1]
$ 308.2 million (2014)[1]
$ 245.7 million (2014)[1]
Total assets $ 3.130 billion (2014)[1]
Total equity $ 1.171 billion (2014)[1]
Number of employees
12,165 (Dec 2014)[1]
Divisions List of Divisions

The Brunswick Corporation, formerly known as the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, is an American corporation that specializes in developing, manufacturing and marketing a wide variety of products since 1845. Brunswick's global headquarters is in the northern Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois. In 2014, it had sales of US$3.838 billion with net earnings of $245.7 million.[1]


  • History 1
  • Recent events 2
  • Divisions 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5
    • Boats 5.1
    • Bowling 5.2
    • Billiards 5.3


J. M. Brunswick

Brunswick was founded by John Moses Brunswick who came to the United States from Switzerland at the age of 15. The J. M. Brunswick Manufacturing Company opened for business on September 15, 1845, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Originally J. M. Brunswick intended his company to be mainly in the business of making carriages, but soon after opening his machine shop, he became fascinated with billiards and decided that making billiard tables would be more lucrative, as the better tables then in use in the United States were imported from England. Brunswick billiard tables were a commercial success, and the business expanded and opened up the first of what would become many branch offices in Chicago, Illinois in 1848. It was later renamed J. M. Brunswick & Brother by 1871, after a family member came on board, and the company's rather hyperbolic slogan at this time was: "The oldest and most extensive billiard table manufacturers in the United States".[2]

Delivery with horse carriage 1848
Company warehouse on State Street, Chicago 1888

In 1874, the Brunswick company merged with competitor Great Western Billiard Manufactory owned by Julius Balke to become the J. M. Brunswick & Balke Company. It was incorporated in 1879 with a capital stock of $275,000, the same year it merged with another competitor, H. W. Collender Company of New York (founded by Hugh W. Collender), to acquire Collender's patented billiard cushions. In 1884, the partners formed the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company (or B.B.C. Company for short[3]) with capital of $1.5 million.

Historical logos of Brunswick
1855 - J.M. Brunswick & Bro
1874 - J.M. Brunswick & Balke Co.
1878 - Brunswick-Balke-Collender & Co.
1862 - Emanuel Brunswick & Co.

The company expanded into making a number of other products. Large ornate neo-classical style bars for saloons were a popular product. Bowling balls, pins, and equipment led a growing line of sporting equipment. It popularized bowling balls of manufactured materials, vulcanized rubber at first; earlier bowling balls had been solid wood.

In the early 20th century, Brunswick expanded the product line to include such diverse products as toilet seats, automobile tires, and phonographs. In the late 1910s, they introduced a quickly-popular line of disc phonograph records, under the name Brunswick Records. In 1930, Brunswick sold the control of the record company to Warner Brothers and came out with a line of refrigerators.

During World War II, Brunswick-Balke-Collender made small target-drone aircraft for the U.S. military.

After the war, Brunswick introduced a line of school furniture.

Bowling alley automatic pinsetter, US patent 2973204

In 1955, the Brunswick "Model A" Mechanical Pinsetter fully automated unit premiered, for the purpose of handling bowling pins for the sport of tenpins, in competition with American Machine and Foundry (AMF). Previously, Brunswick had made two models of semi-automated, manually operated "spotting tables" for the tenpin sport, that the "Model A" unit replaced. The decade also saw the introduction of a line of golfing equipment to compete with AMF in the leisure products and sporting goods markets.

The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company officially changed its name to the Brunswick Corporation on April 10, 1960. The following year the company reported sales of $422 million. Brunswick acquired Mercury Marine in 1961. In the 1970s, Brunswick introduced the automatic scorer, which electronically tallied the score instead of the bowler doing it by hand.

In the 1980s, Brunswick became a major maker of yachts and pleasure boats, whose brands include Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Maxum, Sea Ray, and Trophy.

During the Gulf War, Brunswick supplied the military with camouflage nets. They also made radomes for the Patriot missile.

In 1997, Brunswick purchased the Roadmaster bicycle division, one of the last U.S. manufacturers of low-cost, mass-market bicycles. However, it became apparent that continued U.S. manufacture of such products was not viable in the presence of surging low-priced imports from overseas producers, primarily China. In 1999, Brunswick sold its Roadmaster bicycle division and brand to Pacific Cycle, who went on to acquire several U.S. bicycle brands for use on bicycles imported from China.

On Nov 30, 2001, Brunswick Corporation completed the acquisition of Hatteras Yachts, Inc. from Genmar Industries, Inc. for approximately $80 million in cash.[4]

Recent events

As of the early 21st century, the Brunswick Corporation still manufactures sporting and fitness equipment (Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Parabody) in addition to boats (Sea Ray, Bayliner, Maxum, etc.) and marine engines under the Mercury Marine brand name.

In 2004, Brunswick acquired 3M in 2006, new leadership decided to sell Northstar, Navman and Mx-Marine. Navico now owns those three brands in addition to the Eagle, Lowrance, B&G, and Simrad lines.

On November 9, 2006, the company announced that it was closing two plants and downsizing the workforce by 650 employees, citing slow demand for new boats. Numerous other layoffs occurred prior to this in the Brunswick New Technologies division.

Brunswick reports that in the past five years, their international sales have grown at twice the rate of domestic sales. It has established regional headquarters in Verviers, Belgium; Monterrey, Dandenong, Australia; and Dubai to better serve its customers by designing, engineering, manufacturing and distributing products based on local needs, using local talent.[5]

On July 17, 2014, Brunswick announced its intention to leave the bowling business by the end of 2014. The company disclosed that it had agreed to sell the bowling center business, which brought in $187 million in revenue in the prior year, to competitor Bowlmor AMF for $270 million. It also disclosed that it had retained Lazard to find a buyer for its bowling equipment and products business. The company said it was making these changes to focus on its “core” Marine and Fitness businesses, which provided 92% of company net revenues in 2013. It will retain its heritage billiards business and report billiards financial results as part of the fitness segment.[6] The sale of the bowling center business to Bowlmor AMF was completed in September 2014.[7]

Brunswick completed its exit from the bowling business in May 2015 with the sale of the bowling equipment and products division to BlueArc Capital Management, a private investment firm based in Atlanta, GA. BlueArc completed the acquisition with investments from Gladstone Investment Corporation, a publicly traded business development company in McLean, Va., and Capitala Finance Corp., a business development company in Charlotte, N.C.[8]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Thomson Reuters". 
  2. ^ Wallihan, Samuel S.; Bigney, T. O. (eds.), ed. (1871). The Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer. Denver: S. S. Wallihan & Co. J. M. Brunswick & Brother advertisement. 
  3. ^  
  4. ^ "Brunswick Completes Acquisition of Hatteras Yachts". 
  5. ^ "Global Presence". Lake Forest, IL: Brunswick Corporation. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  6. ^ "Brunswick to Sell Retail Bowling Business to Bowlmor AMF". YAHOO Finance Global Newsire. July 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Bowlmor AMF Completes Acquisition of Brunswick Corporation's Bowling Center Business". MarketWatch. September 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ "BlueArc Capital Management Acquires Brunswick Bowling Products".  

"Six Rail Artistry - Antique Tables Transform Billiards and Pool into Games Worthy of the Grandest Parlor"

External links

  • Brunswick corporate website
  • Brunswick Corporate SEC Filings


  • EMEAinBrunswick Marine
  • EMEA, subsidiary of Brunswick Corporation headquartered in BelgiuminBrunswick Marine
  • Brunswick Marine brands


  • Brunswick Bowling
  • Automatic Pinsetter at Google Patents
  • Brunswick video of early automatic pinsetter development on YouTube


  • Brunswick Billiards
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