Billiards Balls History

Billiards balls history saw wide variety of materials and even a wider range of problems. From the first wooden billiards balls, which tended to crack and bleach, through the ivory billiards balls, which risked the lives of elephant hunters to the celluloid billiards balls that were often exploded on the billiards table.

Today's billiards balls are composed of phenolic resin and they come in various colors and sizes, depending on the specific billiards game requirement. For example, a full set of snooker balls consists of 22 balls sized about 2-1/8 inch in diameter. Pocket billiards balls (pool balls), on the other hand, are about 2.25 inch in diameter. used in coin-operated pool tables are a bit larger than the cue balls used in regularized pool tables.

Billiards Balls of Wood

The first billiards balls were made of wood. They were relatively weightless and their cost was rather low. On the downside, these billiards balls tended to lose their color and their shape fast.

Billiards Balls of Ivory

The wooden billiards balls were replaced with ivory balls. Though their color and shape proved to be consistent, the manufacturing of these billiards balls was not only expensive but lethal; elephants and elephants' hunters have lost their life over the growing demand for these fancy billiards balls. By the middle of the 19th century, a $10,000 prize was offered to an inventor who will come up with an alternative to the ivory billiards balls.

Plastic Billiards Balls

In 1869, John Wesley Hyatt, who was later induced to the Billiards Hall of Fame, had developed billiards ball of cellulose nitrate, the same material that composed the celluloid used in photography and films.

Due to Hyatt invention, elephants (and their hunters) were no longer in risk of extinction, however the production of celluloid balls did not last long. Billiards balls were manufactured of different synthetic materials such as Bakelite, Crystalate, and more.

Billiards Balls Today

Today's billiards balls are made of plastic composition such as phenolic resin, polyester or acrylic under various brand names the most famous of them are Aramith, Brunswick and Elephant Balls.

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