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Positively Ralf
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Need some historians to answer some questions - 01-02-2019, 10:16 AM

video of the 1936 billiards championships --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_W_h7603Rs

on to the questions :

1. I know they are playing straight pool, but is this some sort of different version of the game? Reason I ask is because at 1:38, the player has a break shot, misses but still keeps going. Or was this just a demonstration for the crowd?

2. how long is that table? I've heard of championships being played on 10 footers in those days, but that thing looks way bigger than 10 feet.

3. Were pocket billiard balls the same size as carom/Russian pyramid balls back then? Those things look huge.

Hope some can help out with these questions. thanks!
  
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ChrisinNC
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01-02-2019, 11:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Positively Ralf View Post
video of the 1936 billiards championships --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_W_h7603Rs

on to the questions :

1. I know they are playing straight pool, but is this some sort of different version of the game? Reason I ask is because at 1:38, the player has a break shot, misses but still keeps going. Or was this just a demonstration for the crowd?

2. how long is that table? I've heard of championships being played on 10 footers in those days, but that thing looks way bigger than 10 feet.

3. Were pocket billiard balls the same size as carom/Russian pyramid balls back then? Those things look huge.

Hope some can help out with these questions. thanks!
Camera angles can sometimes be deceiving. Looks like it's 5-feet wide, but you're right - it does appear longer than 10-feet, but I'm guessing it is indeed a 10-footer. The pockets must not be able to hold many balls, as it appears the ref is going around taking the balls out of the pockets as they are made! Caras does indeed miss the break shot at 1:38 and appears to be getting ready to shoot again, although the tape is cut and the balls are in slightly different positions when it resumes with his next shot. I think he is just warming up likely just before a match, as the ref is not going around taking the balls out of the pockets for him as they are made, and it seems a few patrons are standing close by the table talking - which would make think it was not during a match. Did these guys really play that fast back then? Looks like they are racing around the table as fast as they can - imitating Machine Lou Butera or Luc Salvas - too bad players don't play at that pace these days!

Last edited by ChrisinNC; 01-02-2019 at 11:37 AM. Reason: edit
  
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Bob Jewett
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01-02-2019, 11:37 AM

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Originally Posted by ChrisinNC View Post
Camera angles can sometimes be deceiving. Looks like it's 5-feet wide, but you're right - it does appear longer than 10-feet, but I'm guessing it is indeed a 10-footer. The pockets must not be able to hold many balls, as it appears the ref is going around taking the balls out of the pockets as they are made! Caras does indeed miss the break shot at 1:38 and appears to be getting ready to shoot again, although the tape is cut and the balls are in slightly different positions when it resumes with his next shot - very strange. Did these guys really play that fast back then? Looks like they are racing around the table as fast as they can - imitating Machine Lou Butera or Luc Salvas! Too bad players don't play at that pace these days!
I think most of the film was shot outside of the event. Maybe the first two shots shown are real. The frame rate may have been wrong. Look how fast the people clap and how fast the ball slows down. Pretty sure all the matches of that period were on 5x10s and the balls were 2.25.


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01-02-2019, 03:53 PM

The shot at about 2:35 hits w-a-y up the rail and goes in!
  
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01-02-2019, 07:52 PM

Wow what a cool video. I didn't think there was any old pool footage out there that I hadn't seen. I was wrong. That is definitely a 5x10. It looks kind of strange when the camera is positioned high and to the side, but it looked right to me when the camera was on the player's level.

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Racky BallBoa
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01-02-2019, 08:48 PM

I liked the tricks at the end.
  
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Bob Jewett
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01-02-2019, 09:17 PM

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I liked the tricks at the end.
I had forgotten about balancing two balls under two cue sticks. I'll have to try that tomorrow.


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wigglybridge
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01-04-2019, 08:53 PM

sure puts the lie to claims that all old-timers used a more upright stance.


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01-05-2019, 12:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by wigglybridge View Post
sure puts the lie to claims that all old-timers used a more upright stance.
5x10 tables were the norm and were the regulation tables until after WWII, but I'm not sure of the exact date. I know that the 1950 World Championship was played on a 9 footer.
Irving Crane said that 9 foot tables were for amateurs, but eventually 9 foot tables became the norm because poolrooms could fit more 9 foot tables into their rooms and also because 9 foot tables were cheaper than 10 footers to buy and maintain.

Willie Mosconi said that he was more proud of his 300+ ball run on a 5x10 than he was of his 526 run on a 4x8. There's an old poor quality video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yym21l9_Z3U) of Willie running 50 balls in about 5 minutes on a 4x8, talking about his next shot and shooting as soon as the cue ball comes to rest.

In 1955, my Dad and I saw Mosconi play an exhibition at Blackman's Billiards in Passaic NJ, on a 5x10 Brunswick table against Jersey Red.

They used Brunswick clay balls and the green cloth was fairly new with a lot of nap.
Willie arrived at 8:00 PM with his own cue balls in a soft cloth drawstring pouch.
He practiced for only about two or three minutes, using all three cue balls.
Then Willie selected one cue ball for the match.
Mosconi won the lag, Jersey Red broke, and Willie ran 125 and out.
Then Mosconi did a few trick shots, signed some autographs and left before 10:00 PM.
I remember that because it was past my normal weekday bedtime.
  
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ChrisinNC
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01-05-2019, 01:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkdanamatt View Post
5x10 tables were the norm and were the regulation tables until after WWII, but I'm not sure of the exact date. I know that the 1950 World Championship was played on a 9 footer.
Irving Crane said that 9 foot tables were for amateurs, but eventually 9 foot tables became the norm because poolrooms could fit more 9 foot tables into their rooms and also because 9 foot tables were cheaper than 10 footers to buy and maintain.

Willie Mosconi said that he was more proud of his 300+ ball run on a 5x10 than he was of his 526 run on a 4x8. There's an old poor quality video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yym21l9_Z3U) of Willie running 50 balls in about 5 minutes on a 4x8, talking about his next shot and shooting as soon as the cue ball comes to rest.

In 1955, my Dad and I saw Mosconi play an exhibition at Blackman's Billiards in Passaic NJ, on a 5x10 Brunswick table against Jersey Red.

They used Brunswick clay balls and the green cloth was fairly new with a lot of nap.
Willie arrived at 8:00 PM with his own cue balls in a soft cloth drawstring pouch.
He practiced for only about two or three minutes, using all three cue balls.
Then Willie selected one cue ball for the match.
Mosconi won the lag, Jersey Red broke, and Willie ran 125 and out.
Then Mosconi did a few trick shots, signed some autographs and left before 10:00 PM.
I remember that because it was past my normal weekday bedtime.
Yeah, the one year Derby City used a 10-footer with the same 4-1/2" Diamond tour cut pockets for their straight pool high run challenge, only one player was able to barely crack 100. Before and since then, the winner has always been 200+. That tells me a 300 ball run on a 10-footer is equivalent in difficulty to at least a 500 ball run on a 9-footer, although there is no way to prove such a hypothesis.
  
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01-05-2019, 02:10 PM

[QUOTE=ChrisinNC;6299316Did these guys really play that fast back then?[/QUOTE]

There are a number of videos of Caras playing, and he plays pretty fast and intense.
  
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01-05-2019, 02:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkdanamatt View Post
There's an old poor quality video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yym21l9_Z3U) of Willie running 50 balls in about 5 minutes on a 4x8, talking about his next shot and shooting as soon as the cue ball comes to rest.
You got me all excited to see this 50 ball run I've never seen before but then I clicked on the link. That was a 28 ball run that I've seen many times. Interesting thing is if you look at the first break shot he makes, he actually shoots it over again and they edit it out. I think he was snookered after the first break. That's why he says, for no apparent reason, "now that's better."

Great story about you seeing Mosconi's exhibition. Thanks!


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02-01-2019, 09:28 PM

Looks like a 41/2 - 9 to me.


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