In 1912 Alonzo Burt founded The Portland Billiard Ball Company in Portland Maine, specializing in high quality billiard balls manufactured under a patented process. The company also made numerous other products including checkers, dominos, tally balls, and bowling balls.
By the early 1930's the Portland Billiard Ball Company had begun manufacturing poker chips along with billiard balls. At first these were very simple designs made from a clay like composition material or an early plastic called Plaskon. Plaskon was marketed under the trade name "Breaknot".
By 1935 the Portland Billiard Ball Company had changed it's name to the Burt Company and developed a completely new style of chip called the metal die cut. Die cutting metal foil with unique designs and applying them to chips became the company's signature product before the second world war.
From 1941 to 1945 chip production was limited. Most of the company's work was in government contracts, the manufacture of ammo cans being primary.
In 1947 the Burt Company purchased United States Playing Card's chip manufacturing equipment. This purchase eliminated USPC as a competitor and established the Burt Company as America's leading chip maker. The late 1940's saw a shift to a higher quality printed center chip and the first use of colored edge spots.
In 1954 the Burt Company introduced the first multi-colored edge spots and the first house mold at the Golden Nugget. A house mold casts the name or logo of a casino into the rim of the chip. Also in 1954, the Flamingo Casino proudly displayed a picture of the new "Champagne Tower" addition in the center of their roulette chips. Casino owners Wilbur Clark and Benny Binion put their pictures on their casino's chips.
The Burt company continued making poker chips well into the late 80's.