Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Billiard Balls: A History of Constant Evolution

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 155

The game of pool has been around since the late 1600's and of course billiard balls have been as well. Believe it or not, the first ones made out of wood. But as one might imagine, those were very difficult to carve into perfect spheres of exact dimensions and they would break and degrade really fast due to repeated contact with other balls. Clay was another common material used to make billiard balls and it actually stuck well into the 20th century. The short durability of these balls due to their degradation, both chipping and their paint peeling off easily, made people look for stronger, more robust materials to use. As early as 1588, ivory balls were starting to be used.

Ivory Balls

Ivory is a very solid material and was extremely useful for the purpose of making quality billiard balls. Unfortunately, the natural resource being elephants' tusks, the supply was fairly limited. A mere eight quality billiard balls could be manufactured out of a single elephant's tusk. By the 1950's, elephants being slaughtered for their ivory, their survival was endangered and scientists were urged to find an alternative material to manufacture quality balls without putting any species in danger. A 10 000$ prize was even offered by a New York supplier to anyone who could come up with a valuable substitute. There is no evidence that the prize was actually ever won by anyone.

Synthetic Materials

In 1869, John Wesley Hyatt invented an artificial substance called nitrocellulose. That material first seemed perfect for the use of making billiard ball, if it wasn't for that one problem: its nature making it volatile in production, it would occasionally explode during the fabrication. An urban legend even says that the balls themselves would sometimes explode during rough play; although no reliable sources ever proved that occurrence. Building on that knowledge, the industry continued experimenting with diverse synthetic materials and plastic compounds to finally come up with a perfect plastic material that is resistant to cracking and chipping.

Nowadays, Phenolic resin balls are manufactured by companies such as Aramith and Brunswick Centennial. Competing companies such as Elephant Balls Ltd. and Frenzy Sports use other plastic resins like polyester and clear acrylic to produce their billiard balls.

It's incredible to think of how far the evolution of billiard balls has come since the very beginning of their history. From wooden, as round as possible, hand-made balls, they became a regular supply that nobody even reflect about when buying pool tables. Billiard balls are now just a part of the game and are as reliable as anything one can think of.

Make sure to visit to get access to even more information concerning the different sets of balls used in various games and much more concerning the subject.

Craig Carter does not have a job related to billiards. He is working as a carpenter, building mostly staircases and ceilings. But, one day, about a decade ago, he decided to build his own pool table as a personal project and the result was that he absolutely fell in love with the game of pool. From then on he decided that he wanted to share that passion with other billiards fans and that the easiest way to achieve that was through the web. Carter writes articles about just any aspect of pool to help his fellow billiards fans to find reliable information as easily as possible.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Billiard Balls


Pool Balls


Billiard Balls Material


Ivory Billiard Balls

LED boat trailer lights are designed to offer high-power output and low-power consumption for ultra-bright and reliable illumination; they are sealed to resist UV-radiation, corrosion, and water

By: Simon Liva l Recreation & Sports > Boating l December 12, 2012 lViews: 274

All these scooters are highly durable as they have been made using qualitative materials. They are ideal for extreme tricks, jumps and stunts for youngsters and are extremely light in weight. All

By: Simon Liva l Recreation & Sports > Extreme l November 24, 2012 lViews: 413

The interest in BMXing has grown massively over the past few years. With BMX hitting its peak in the 80's with freestyle riders, the sport has never looked back. Even more impressively BMX racing is

By: Alan Trotter l Recreation & Sports > Cycling l October 24, 2012 lViews: 452

Mountain biking has grown vastly over the years from simple, open entry competitions to global world cup and olympic events. There are still local enthusiasts and the sport has a dedicated following.

By: Philip Loughran l Recreation & Sports > Mountain Biking l July 10, 2012 lViews: 248

It's unfortunate but true that although summer holidays such as the 4th of July and Labor Day offer some of the best opportunities for families to get out and enjoy some quality time together, with

By: Dexter Luck l Recreation & Sports > Boating l July 10, 2012 lViews: 585

The term "Klunker" that for years became synonymous with heavy, clumsy machines, was actually the model of bike made by the Schwinn company that had something to do with the origins of freestyle

By: John D Meyers l Recreation & Sports > Mountain Biking l July 10, 2012 lViews: 270

Playing pool is a great hobby, pastime and competitive sport. As with any other sport, playing pool or billiards requires the right equipment. Finding the best pool cue for a person's particular

By: Kevin A Wrightl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl June 05, 2012 lViews: 188

Cue sports are the most preferred sport of one's leisure time. Although Carom billiards is the oldest pool cue game, it is played the least as the present generation is opting more for snooker and

By: Akaash Prasadl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl May 25, 2012 lViews: 170

The game of Billiards can be played in a variety of ways, which makes it a really popular sport these days. The five types of billiards games played by pool enthusiasts all over the world include:

By: Akaash Prasadl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl May 03, 2012 lViews: 142

When shopping for a pool table, whether new or used, there are a few very important things to consider about the slate. One is not required to have knowledge of the game or even to have played. The

By: Bryan H Carpenterl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl April 17, 2012 lViews: 155

When it comes to choosing the weight and style of your darts, there really isn't a wrong answer. Ultimately, it all comes down to what makes you feel most comfortable when you're at the line. Here

By: Thomas Schudel Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl April 09, 2012 lViews: 145

This is one of the most important and most neglected aspects of the game by the beginners and novices. Be it a pool hall, restaurant, a bar or a club, refrain from using just about any pool cues you

By: Akaash Prasadl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl March 28, 2012 lViews: 129

Billiard balls are considered as just simple accessories one needs to be able to play any game of pool. They are often overlooked, but the fact is they are absolutely indispensable. There are so many

By: Craig Carterl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl February 23, 2012 lViews: 161

Ever since they have been around, pool trick shots have captivated the imaginary of billiards fans and even of the general public. The creativity of the shots and the way the performers always find a

By: Craig Carterl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl February 16, 2012 lViews: 150

Pool trick shots became popular as soon as the public first witnessed them. Trick shots are viewed as a kind of freestyle exercise by the general public. In reality though, the sport is divided into

By: Craig Carterl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl February 15, 2012 lViews: 150

The biggest setback when looking for used pool tables is frequently not to find them on the market, but rather to know how to find one that suits our needs and preferences. Often, the only barriers

By: Craig Carterl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl February 09, 2012 lViews: 141

Used pool tables are easy to find everywhere on the internet; that is a fact. Another reality is that it's just as easy to get fooled by a too-good-to-be-true type of deal. To avoid an unfortunate

By: Craig Carterl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl February 08, 2012 lViews: 146

The main thing to know when looking for pool tables for sale is that the better your research is, the better prepared you will be to make a final decision. The information to seek for is uncovered

By: Craig Carterl Recreation & Sports > Billiardsl February 03, 2012 lViews: 148