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Who Really Invented Foosball?

Posted by Alex Huff on Jan 3, 2017 4:20:38 PM

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Well, there are a few rumors that continue to be passed around dating all the way from the 1880’s.  The one thing we do know is that Harold Searles Thornton was the first person to ever patent anything even close to the modern game of Foosball all the way back in 1927.  At the time, table football wasn’t very successful and the patent was left to expire. There was no awareness at this time that by 1950 the first foosball league would be established by the Belgians, and by 1976 the European Table Soccer Union would be created.  However we should use the term “union” loosely as none of the figures were the same, the tables were different sizes, and the balls were made of different materials.  To this day there is still not a single set of rules.


So how did Foosball tables make their way to America?  In the 1960’s Lawrence Pattison was stationed in West Germany and saw how popular the game really was.  By 1962 he had contracted a company in Bavaria to build and export his tables to America.  From that point on the Foosball industry rose dramatically to selling over 1000 tables through the 70’s and very early 80’s.  Sadly, by 1981 the demise of the foosball table had arrived, all thanks to…PAC-MAN and other early arcade games.  The game would remain low key and relatively dormant until 2003 when The United States became a member of the International Table Soccer Association.

Currently Looking For A Foosball Table?

So here we are in 2017 and you’re looking to buy a fantastic Foosball table to add to your family game room.  You want a quality product that you can spend time enjoying with your family and friends.  Nelson’s Hometown Recreation should be your one and only stop for all your Foosball needs.

Fat Cat Madrid Foosball Table

fatcat.jpgWe currently have four great tables on the floor for you to choose from.  Looking for something budget friendly and sleek?  The Fat Cat Madrid table is the perfect fit!  Black in color, with red and white figures on the playing field.  Affordable, yet durable!  Want a Foosball table that keeps the ball in play longer?  Come check out our Fat Cat tirade table.  With removable blocks at each end of the table you can choose whether you want a flat square wall at the end, or a curved ramp to send the ball back out on the field.  It also comes with professional looking metal goals. This table will allow for hours of fun!

Garlando Master Pro Foosball Table

masterpro.jpgWe all love having a family cookout, the smells of delicious food on the grill, music playing, and plenty of fun to go around.  What are you going to play?  Bags, ladder ball, Frisbee?  How about….FOOSBALL!!  With the folding legs on the Garlando Master Pro you can easily move it around and set it up anywhere!  This table is great for someone who doesn’t have a ton of space to store the table when not in use. 

Maverick Foosball Table.jpgNow, if you want a table that will last the test of time and the rough housing of kids, then you need the Maverick Foosball Table.  Built with a commercial grade, 1 inch thick mahogany cabinet and one piece molded legs, nothing is going to wreck this table!  To top off the durability the table comes with a ¾ inch thermoplastic playing surface and solid steel rods.  This table even comes with 4 cup holders to hold your favorite drink!

No matter what table you choose, it will look amazing between your dart board and air hockey table.  So go ahead and treat yourself to a game that has been around for over 130 years. Stop into Nelson's HTR located in Janesville, WI and check out our Foosball Table selection!

Topics: Foosball

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Mon – Fri: 9am - 7pm
Sat:   9am - 5pm
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Nelson's Hometowne Recreation (HRT)
1700 US-14
Janesville, WI  53545

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