In the early 1960s, Viking Cue Mfg., Inc. founder Gordon Hart began making two-piece pool cues in the basement of his poolroom in Stoughton, Wisconsin. Mr. Hart traveled to various tournaments to sell his cues. In a short period of time, Viking cues became popular with many of the top players. As the 1960s were coming to a close, Gordon sold his poolroom and moved the cue business to its present location in Madison, Wisconsin. He expanded production capabilities and began selling cues throughout the United States and abroad. The company grew steadily through the 1970s and 1980s. Then, in 1986 the major motion picture, The Color of Money, which starred Paul Newman and Tom Cruise, was released and created a boom in the billiard industry. Sales of Viking cues skyrocketed, and the company experienced phenomenal growth as a result. As the 1980s came to a close, Mr. Hart began updating machinery and investing in state-of-the-art equipment to ensure a quality product. Promotional efforts increased with an extensive advertising and public relations program coordinated by Gordon's wife, Nancy, which helped make Viking a household name. Nancy was very active in the Billiard Congress of America in the 1990s, serving on its board of directors. Years earlier she served on the board of the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America, and was the first woman elected as president of that organization. Viking is known for its generous support of various tournaments and organizations including the International Challenge of Champions, Viking Nine Ball Tour, and National Wheelchair Poolplayers Association. Vikings efforts coupled with significant product quality enhancements, positioned the company as the leader in the cue making industry. By the mid-1990s, the company hired a full sales staff to handle the needs of their constantly growing distributors and dealers throughout the world. In 1994, Mr. Hart was honored with the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Cuemaker's Association. In 1995, Viking introduced a whole new line of cues. With this new line of cues came an entirely new way of cataloging the product. Large, almost to scale, photos depict the decorative features of the cues from the joint all the way down to the bumper. Every intricate detail is visible to the human eye. With the introduction of the Platinum Series in 1998 and the Millennium Series in 1999, Viking is poised to continue its lead in the industry in quality, durability, and selection.
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