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-   -   Origin of the pyramids (no, not in Egypt) (https://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=495406)

Game Hunter 06-17-2019 12:14 AM

Origin of the pyramids (no, not in Egypt)
 
I've been researching the first pyramid billiard games as they are the most important influence on modern American pool games. I'm assuming that the rack was invented shortly after to keep the balls in place. Shamos suggests the game of Hazards is the daddy of pyramid games but I have my doubts. Has anyone here done any research on the subject? I'm going to share what I've found after a few responses.

Bob Jewett 06-17-2019 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Game Hunter (Post 6418948)
I've been researching the first pyramid billiard games as they are the most important influence on modern American pool games. I'm assuming that the rack was invented shortly after to keep the balls in place. Shamos suggests the game of Hazards is the daddy of pyramid games but I have my doubts. Has anyone here done any research on the subject? I'm going to share what I've found after a few responses.

What is the earliest set of rules you have found for a game with a triangular rack layout?

Game Hunter 06-24-2019 06:43 AM

The earliest I can find is a game called Figaro also known as la pyramide. It was recorded in Vienna in 1795 by Anton Baumann. I think it may have come from France but I haven't found a source yet. I've tracked pyramid games expanding to Denmark and Sweden but I still don't know when they've arrive in England.


https://books.google.com/books?id=irdhAAAAcAAJ&dq=figaro%20billard&pg=PA79# v=onepage&q&f=false

Bob Jewett 06-24-2019 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Game Hunter (Post 6424566)
The earliest I can find is a game called Figaro also known as la pyramide. It was recorded in Vienna in 1795 by Anton Baumann. I think it may have come from France but I haven't found a source yet. I've tracked pyramid games expanding to Denmark and Sweden but I still don't know when they've arrive in England.


https://books.google.com/books?id=irdhAAAAcAAJ&dq=figaro%20billard&pg=PA79# v=onepage&q&f=false

Very interesting. My German is not so good and neither is my reading of blackface type. Without running it through Google translate, it looks like they are talking about a form of six ball.

book collector 07-03-2019 06:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Game Hunter (Post 6418948)
I've been researching the first pyramid billiard games as they are the most important influence on modern American pool games. I'm assuming that the rack was invented shortly after to keep the balls in place. Shamos suggests the game of Hazards is the daddy of pyramid games but I have my doubts. Has anyone here done any research on the subject? I'm going to share what I've found after a few responses.

I never did any real research on either game , my main focus was more on the players of all eras.
Although you do pick up info from lots of unusual places.
Shamos says that hazards was in vogue about 1772 and that Pyramids stemmed from that about 1775
. From what I have seen and read from other sources , that seems like an accurate time frame.
I'm interested in what you found that makes you feel differently.
Also, good luck in your research, you are welcome to any info I have , just make sure you triple check everything I say , my mind wandered off a few years back and has not been heard from lately.

Game Hunter 07-04-2019 12:53 PM

Hazards is very well attested but I can't find any English source for Pyramids before 1850. That's a 75 year gap. I'm not sure which of Shamos' books the 1775 date comes from. I'm using Shamos' revised encyclopedia which list the OED and Edwin Kentfield (both 1850) as the earliest source: https://books.google.com/books?id=gp...page&q&f=false

Through trawling Google Books, I can't find an earlier source. Michael Phelan reported Fifteen-ball Pool in the US in the same year. George Frederick Pardon believed Pyramids to be of German origin. I'm going to have to trudge through the blackletter German rule books to look at how the pyramid games developed there. Bob claimed that Figaro had a six-ball pyramid. I wonder if the pyramid expanded to ten, then fifteen, and finally twenty-one balls. The 15-ball period would most likely be the time frame for its entry into the English-speaking world.

pt109 07-05-2019 07:19 AM

Game Hunter....youll notice that you have over a thousand views already.
....Ill be reading anything you come up with.

Thanx

Game Hunter 09-16-2019 03:39 AM

Just to keep you guys updated, I had the 1795 Viennese rules translated and checked some of the later developments of the game. They are exactly like the Anglo-American pyramid pool rules down to the quirky last object ball becomes the cue ball of your opponent rule. The only difference is that the colors of the balls are swapped. In the Austro-German game the cue ball is red while the object balls are white just like in Russian pyramid. There can be no doubt that this game is the grandad of snooker and almost all American pool games and very likely for Russian pyramid as well.

In earlier posts we talked of six ball minimums, that is incorrect. Any number of object balls may be used but the minimum is twelve. I've seen as high as 24 in a Danish manual but usually 15 or 21 is favored.


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