Drueke chess games were prominent in the USA from nearly 100 years. Established in 1914 by William Drueke, the Michigan based company thrived for decades until 2010 when the last remaining production wooden chessboards were sold.
Pronounced (droo-key), Drueke’s wooden chess boards were the mainstay of the product line ranging in sizes from 15″ to 26″. The walnut and maple hardwood furniture perfect finish and precision manufacturing were loved by chess players through the country and the world.
The Carrom Company today owns the Drueke chess line which has been reduced to a mere two products from the scores of products originally in the lineup which included luxury tables, chess boxes, pieces, wooden chess boards, travel sets, and so on.
The two products available today are the Travel Chess 87730 and Wooden Checkers 83124, both of which are quite popular to this day. In fact, the travel chess set is one of my favorites in that the chess position can stay in place even while the case is closed.
This video shares some insights into the product line and shows a 15″, 21″, and 23″ chessboard, and their well known plastic chess pieces which were produced starting in the 50’s when Drueke adopted injection molding.
This video was shot not only to give some background on the Drueke chess line, but also to showcase the JLP line that was produced in response to the discontinued Drueke chess boards. The JLP wooden chess boards are nearly identical in specs and styling of the 21″ board as this video shows. And, like the Drueke chess boards they are 100% made in the USA as well from sustainably sourced Eastern US walnut and maple.
The JLP boards even improve on some aspects of the Drueke design. Furthermore, there is even a JLP wooden chess table that compliments a JLP board and turns it into a remarkably attractive chess table as seen near the end of the video.