LONGONI COMPANY HISTORY
 
 
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Longoni is the most famous Italian name in the world of billiards; for over 75 years the Longoni family has been creating, producing and marketing items for this sport all over the world.
In particular, the Longoni billiard cues, today, still designed and produced in Mariano Comense, near Milan, are used by the greatest champions in the world, for their precision and reliability. The keys to the Longoni brand's success have always been: innovation, elegance and the selection of quality materials.
The consistent presence of the family in the production process has been and will be the greatest guarantee for buyers.
Care for the environment, worker safety and a typically Italian approach to business management have always given the brand reliability and prestige.

longoni group For more information: www.longonigroup.com

BEGINNING

The history of the Longoni brand began in 1945 when, after the Second World War, Alessandro Longoni decided to open his own workshop for the production and repair of cues and billiard tables.
Alessandro was trained at ""F.Lli Della Chiesa"", a historic company in Milan, which had been producing and selling billiards and kits throughout Europe since 1750. Following the war and the heavy bombing of Milan, they had to lay off their staff and eventually shut down.
Thanks to his experience gained, with the help of their sons Emilio, Vittorio and Renzo and his wife Maria, in just a few years they managed to create their own clientele and subsequent demand for tables and cues.
Mariano Comense, Alessandro's hometown, together with several neighbouring towns (Cantù, Meda and Cabiate) was already famous in Italy and Europe for woodworking and other works of art: therefore this was the ideal environment to grow the company.
In the beginning, they had no equipment so everything had to be done by hand or by bringing the parts to be processed to laboratories that offered machinery by the hour.

60

The 60s represent the beginning of the economic boom in Italy.
The Longoni brand also benefits from this significant period. Renzo Longoni establishes himself as a technician specializing in the production of billiard tables, especially in the cues sector. In 1960 he marries Francesca Luzzi who would go on to become the managerial soul of the company, helping it to develop in foreign markets, mainly in Europe and consequently in the United States.
In this decade, machinery and technologies are acquired by major names such as Vaula and Pagliani & Provenzale, which would act as a driving force for the larger-scale production of Longoni cues. The first department head and technician also comes from Vaula: Marco Tessaro, a native of Varazze; an experienced technician who built cues in Turin for various companies.
In billiards, in the sixties, the detachable two-piece cues begin to become popular in Italy.
Strengthened by the experience gained with the ""Fraschetta"" and ""Arlecchino"" cues, in 1965 Renzo Longoni developed and filed the patent for the first stratified wooden shaft, later known as ""Stratos"".
In these years, the wooden joint by Longoni is presented, for the new two-piece cues, a successor to the wooden joint used by the French brand, Jolie.
Thanks to the experience gained in the family business and collaborations with various companies in the area, Renzo Longoni soon becomes an established woodworker and goes on to work with exotic and national wood with great skill.

70

In the 70s, having consolidated the techniques acquired from other brands, along with his passion, Renzo Longoni begins to develop more two-piece cues and innovative technologies with aluminium, from which came the famous LEM model, and the first cues with variable weights.
The two-piece cues become a coveted object and every player aspires to have their own. In this period, Renzo Longoni develops techniques that would become standard decades later such as the Vibraless system and the construction technique of laminated shafts.
The first collaborations start with well-known players of the time such as Salvatore Centorami, who become ambassadors of the Longoni cues, as well as providing important know-how on technical play.
In 1971 Maria Luisa Longoni, the eldest daughter of Renzo and Francesca, is born, and in 1976 their son Pierluigi, both of whom are now employed in the family business.
Also in 1976, Francesca Luzzi founds the Longoni family commercial company: Norditalia Ricambi sr.l. (www.norditalia.it), simultaneously ending the production of Longoni tables for bars and competitions.
During these years, the European markets begin to grow considerably and, as a result, so does the demand for quality cues.

80
The '80s are years of strong technological innovation and great collaborations. The Longoni brand, in addition to being leaders in Italian billiards, also becomes a point of reference in the high-level carom.
High-level collaborations begin with exceptional caram players such as Raymond Ceulemans, Ludo Dielis, Francis Connesson and the young Marco Zanetti.
Numerous leading Italian players play with Longoni cues: Renato Corbellini, Gianni Bombardi, Giorgio Colombo, Riccardo Belluta, Giampiero Rosanna and the very famous Mafrcello Lotti known as “Lo Scuro"" (""The Dark"")
The company begins to dismantle part of the production lines dedicated to whole cues to devote more time to the market of two-piece cues.
Synthetic fibres such as carbon, kevlar and fibreglass make their appearance: the Longoni brand becomes a pioneer also in this range, as it had been for the aluminium ones of the previous decade.
The range of accessories for professional play is extended, such as Blue Diamond chalk, Renzline cloths and Longoni cases.
In carom, the first world titles are won by players of the Longoni team.

90

In the 90s, the Longoni brand extends beyond the European borders. In the first half of the decade, following the fall of communism and the opening of eastern markets, there is major development in Russia and the eastern countries where the Longoni brand would be present for over a decade and where important tournaments would also be held, sponsored by the brand. The prestigious Longoni Cup in St. Petersburg becomes a top-level classic.
From the beginning of the 90s, a historic collaboration with Dick Jaspers begins, at the time a promising young Dutchman, and today, still part of the team after 30 years, with numerous world titles.
Over these years, the discipline of pool experiences a great growth and important collaborations are signed with American companies such as Viking and Joss, with whom they even create a new range of models, “Joss by Longoni”.
The first Longoni cues, made entirely in synthetic fibres are presented: the C-94, the G-94 and the K-94.
In the mid-90s, a technological leap is made in Europe for the first time, by installing a computer numerical control (CNC) machine for manufacturing cues with an inlay technique.
This technology gives a great boost to the creation of these highly popular and sought after products.
Some of these models, such as those of the LV range, become exclusive to some American chains and are coveted objects still today.
A famous model of the time was the Amber (or LV-4 in its pool edition), a coveted cue with an octagonal handle.
In this decade, two other models are presented, also designed by Renzo Longoni, which would leave an indelible mark on the Longoni brand's imagination: the ""Indiano"" and the ""Collection"". Both are characterised by having numerous details in hand-chiselled silver: different variations were made for the Collection, some unique, both round and octagonal. The Collection is still present in the range today.
These masterpieces, all designed by Renzo Longoni himself, were possible both thanks to the new technologies adopted and to careful research of materials from all over the world including turquoise and abalone shell.
In the ""Billiard Encyclopedia"" by Victor Stein, a worshipped text for collectors of billiard items, there is a large section dedicated to the Longoni brand.
At the end of the 90s, Pierluigi Longoni joins the company, devoting himself more to the development of the cue sector and all its accessories.
The first version of the longonicues.com site is created where the entire collection of cues is shown in virtual format.
The first metal joint is created for pool cues: the XP, in two versions, steel and titanium. This attachment would replace the previous 5 / 16-18, adopted at the time by many American brands.
The first cue cases made entirely with ABS are officially launched, a real revolution in the world of billiards.

THE-FUTURE

With the new millennium, horizons and objectives change: the brand is now well established in Europe and America and the doors of Asia open.
In this period, Pierluigi Longoni’s role is mainly dedicated to the improvement of internal procedures, the establishment of new commercial and sports partnerships and the planning of the company's technological apparatus, assisted by his father and by highly-experienced internal company professionals.
Collaborations with high-level players increase. Numerous players join the Longoni team such as Niels Feijen, Eddy Merckx, Semih Sayginer, Filippos Kasidostas and many others, bringing various world titles.
Longoni begins a long-lived and successful series of tournaments dedicated to pool called ""The Longoni Cup"", the first of which was played in 2000 in Bologna at the Civaturs club.
The removal of the old production lines continues, in particular, those dedicated to whole cues, to focus on the two-piece, elevating technique and design.
Always at the forefront, in Europe, in 2000, the first numerically controlled vertical turning machine for butts and shafts is installed: until then, machines which copied hand-made shapes, had been used. The range of shafts begins to expand and the quality standards are consolidated.
A second CNC machine is installed to increase the production capacity and improve the production of cues with inlays.
The production of the stratified shafts of the Stratos range is restored thanks to the new specifically developed machinery and the matured innovations. The S2 shaft is born, a successor to the historic Stratos, developed in the mid-sixties, with a new technical guise.
In 2005 an innovative numerical control lathe is installed for the production of the famous wooden joints for shafts and butts: which, until then, had only been created with hand tools.
An innovative laser-cut pantograph is included in the production cycle to create inlays with details never achieved before.
Over these years, Pierluigi Longoni first-handedly develops the first high-precision, quick-fit joint: the Viper for the world of 5 pins and then the VP2 originally created for the Russian Pyramid.
The Vp2 then became the most versatile and innovative joint in the Longoni range, with tens of thousands of them being produced and installed on all the cues of the various disciplines: in very light titanium for carom and in AISI 303 stainless steel for pool, Russian pyramid and 5 skittles. To optimize weights and balancing, two types of sockets are also developed: brass for pool and 5 pins and aluminium alloy for carom.
In 2008 Longoni introduced the first laminated shaft with two types of wood: the S3, consisting of 5 maple wedges and 5 hornbeam wedges.
From 2007, Korea starts to become a key market in Asia for the Longoni brand: thanks to the collaboration with the Kimchi company, numerous limited ranges are developed for that market.
In 2007, thanks to new technologies, the first cue of the Longoni range, with curved ring designs, the ""New Age"", was introduced to the market. From this moment, this technique would become a distinctive element of the entire Longoni range, with models that would make history such as ""The Prince"", ""Sultan"", ""Pk2"".

THE-FUTURE
From the mid-2000s, innovations and the expansion of international collaborations continue.
Measuring instruments including bore gauges, laser gauges and surface plates are enhanced by Pierluigi Longoni and all the machines are transformed and adapted to the changing production needs: tolerances are improved.
Pierluigi Longoni is increasingly involved in business management, focusing mainly on the technical development of products, the production process and international relations.
Many machines previously used for low-end two-piece cues are discontinued to make way for new, more specific high-end and collectible two-piece cues.
Starting in 2012, the Longoni brand, in partnership with a European mechanical company, develops an innovative screwless quick-release system for extensions: the 3Lobite would become standard on the wide top range of all Longoni cues.
New concepts of high precision layered shafts are developed that extend the Stratos range: the S20 and S30, are the first shafts in the world with 20 wedges.
Longoni is represented in China for the first time in 2012 at the GBE fair: the foundations are laid that would lead to the establishment of a direct importer within a few years and the opening of some Longoni stores in different areas of China.
The Longoni brand, in addition to China, begins to enter the growing Vietnamese market, signing important agreements with retailers in Ho Chi Min City that would lead to the Italian made products being recognised in markets that had been closed until then.
Numerous investments are made to increase numerically controlled pantographs for inlays and to upgrade the machines dedicated to painting and finishing the cues. Numerous new high-precision lathes ensure greater interchangeability between shafts and butts.
Starting from the end of 2018, after a long phase of testing, installation of the Hexa-core system begins, which revolutionizes the internal structure of the Longoni cues, making them more precise, durable and silent.
The projects on fibre shafts are resumed, developing new combinations of previously used materials. All this research would be the basis of the innovative ""Luna Nera"" (Black Moon) project.The production increases significantly without disrupting the original spirit of the company, also increasing the quality standard. To this day, Longoni cues are processed entirely in Italy, in Mariano Comense, in the same factory where the billiard tables were produced in the 1960s.
The protection of the environment and the working environment become priorities: the company begins to participate in programs of reforestation of abandoned urban areas, to use more and more suppliers of FSC certified wood and to improve the quality of work within the company.
In 2018 the new Giotto range of genuine leather cases, made entirely in Italy, with top quality materials, is officially presented.
Collaborations with the most important players from all over the world became so great that today, the “Longoni” team is spoken about so highly . Thanks to them, the production standards are always up to date with growing technical needs and market trends.
The brand begins to invest more in young players and to strengthen partnerships with local retailers to support new promises.
The range of original Longoni billiard accessories expands greatly, establishing itself worldwide for quality and specificity. To protect buyers from the risk of buying counterfeit items, in 2019, a partnership with a company specializing in the verification of online purchases begins: certilogo.com.
Thanks to a wide network of highly qualified official dealers (www.), customers can buy Longoni products safely, with the guarantee of having continuous assistance on their purchases.
After the lock-down due to Coronavirus, which halted the company for two months, on May 4th the plant resumed with new vigour to meet the numerous requests from international customers.

 


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January 2007, Alessandro Longoni was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Cuemakers Association.

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