Billiard balls are essential to the playing of the different cue sports such as pool, carom billiards and snooker. Each of these different games use a different size, color or numbering of billiards balls but they share a common history which we thought it might be interesting to explore just now
At the very beginning of the history of billiards game the billiards balls were made of wood. After this clay began to used and remained in use until the 20th century. However, at the same time ivory had become the most popular type of material for this produce and remained so from the early 17th century right up to the 20th century.
A relatively small number of billiard balls were produced from the tusks of each elephant and these animals were being reduced drastically in numbers due to the demand for their ivory. This led to a competition to find an alternative source of billiard balls.
Did They Really Explode?
A big prize of $10,000 – which was a big amount at the time -was apparently won by John Wesley Hyatt in 1869 for his revolutionary nitrocellulose billiard ball design, although it is unclear whether he ever actually claimed the prize. The balls were most commonly known as celluloid balls and it has been reported that their volatility led to them exploding at times, although no real evidence of this has ever been discovered.
Other types of material which have come along since then include Crystalite, Bakelite and now Phenolic resin, clear acrylic and polyester. Modern billiards balls are almost certainly more durable, better performing and better value than at any point in the past. There are lots of different types of billiard ball sets to choose from on the internet.
Even sets of miniature billiard balls for small table now offer a high quality design despite being extremely inexpensive to buy. Among the most popular brand of billiard balls Aramith is a name which you will often come across as being the preferred brand for may players. However, cheap sets of ball billiard models can also be set online at a very low cost, and many people prefer to have one really good set and then one or two cheaper sets in their pool room.