History Question

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
You leave room for interpretation, but if you mean when did most of the earliest poolrooms come into existence, I'd say in the 1900-1920 range. People had pool tables in their houses long before that.
 

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For the average person? More like the 1950s to 1960s, when the Brunswick pool rooms came into fashion. The Hustler helped that along.

All the best,
WW
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
1860's or earlier

Billiard parlors were popular in the old west. The period from about 1865 to 1900 is considered the time of the wild west so I would consider that period to be a time when peons could play. The Earps really did enjoy the game. I don't know how much earlier pool halls dated to but the game of pocket billiards has been played by the general public from at least the 1860's I believe.

A bit of trivia, Marie Antoinette was into billiards. She had a solid ivory cue that she kept in a locked cabinet and she always wore the key on a ribbon around her neck. I sometimes wonder if that cue still exists. It might be the most valuable cue in the world if it does!

Hu
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
For the common people, billiard games became popular in the early 1800s.
...in parlours where they gambled...the term “pool” originated in England....
....it is a gambling term....that morphed into billiard games.

So a couple centuries ago, laws were made to limit hours of operation.....
...or to even ban pool parlours themselves...because it was interfering with work and
family life.
...this tradition is not totally erased in the modern era
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
For the common people, billiard games became popular in the early 1800s.
...in parlours where they gambled...the term “pool” originated in England....
....it is a gambling term....that morphed into billiard games.
...
Anyone who is interested in the history of billiard games needs to get William Hendricks' booklet. The following is from page 14 of Hendricks' "History" in the section titled "The Eighteenth Century: Billiards for Everyman."
[billiards still expensive ...] Even when the affluent did not wish
to mingle, the less-wealthy colonists could be obstreperously
democratic when it came to billiards. A horrified British officer
describes a 1780 dispute at colonial billiards between a gentleman
and "a low fellow" at a public table.

I shall relate the way the accident happened, to shew the
ferociousness of the lower class in this country; this gentleman
was at play in the billiard-room, where there were a number of
gentlemen and several of our officers: a low fellow, who
pretends to gentility came in, and in the course of play, some
words arose, in which he first wantonly abused [the gentleman]
and afterward ... flew at him, and in an instant turned his eye
out of the socket, and while it hung upon his cheek, the fellow
was barbarous enough to endeavor to pluck it entirely out, but
was prevented.(*)


(*) From Jane Carson's "Colonial Virginians at Play," University
Press of Virginia, 1964, p. 85.

I have heard that billiards in Virginia is more civilized now.
 

Game Hunter

Registered
Back in the 1600s, Charles Cotton noted that almost every town in England had a public billiard table. Popularity comes and goes. It was really big in the 1800s in the US. Famous players had their pictures on collectibles. Newspapers sometimes devoted more space on big matches than civil war battles. The films The Hustler and The Color of Money led to spikes in popularity.
 

Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Silver Member
Anyone who is interested in the history of billiard games needs to get William Hendricks' booklet. The following is from page 14 of Hendricks' "History" in the section titled "The Eighteenth Century: Billiards for Everyman."
[billiards still expensive ...] Even when the affluent did not wish
to mingle, the less-wealthy colonists could be obstreperously
democratic when it came to billiards. A horrified British officer
describes a 1780 dispute at colonial billiards between a gentleman
and "a low fellow" at a public table.

I shall relate the way the accident happened, to shew the
ferociousness of the lower class in this country; this gentleman
was at play in the billiard-room, where there were a number of
gentlemen and several of our officers: a low fellow, who
pretends to gentility came in, and in the course of play, some
words arose, in which he first wantonly abused [the gentleman]
and afterward ... flew at him, and in an instant turned his eye
out of the socket, and while it hung upon his cheek, the fellow
was barbarous enough to endeavor to pluck it entirely out, but
was prevented.(*)


(*) From Jane Carson's "Colonial Virginians at Play," University
Press of Virginia, 1964, p. 85.

I have heard that billiards in Virginia is more civilized now.
Well, Bob...your exposure must be largely based upon the Norfolk happenings.

We are savages, 51 weeks out of the year.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When did cue sports become a common game
For the average person?


In the U.S. I think you could easily go back to the beginning of the 1900's.

In Bob Byrne's "McGoorty, The Story of a Billiard Bum" McGoorty says, "Believe it or not, in the early 1920's in Cook's County, Illinois, there were 5,200 licensed pool halls." He goes on to say, "In the Chicago Loop alone -- where there is not a single poolroom today -- there were twelve big layouts, each one with no less than forty tables. Augie Kieckhefer's place at 18 East Randolph street, which was pretty much my headquarters, had fifty-five tables on one floor -- forty were billiards, the rest pool and snooker."

Lou Figueroa
 

Pushout

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In the U.S. I think you could easily go back to the beginning of the 1900's.

In Bob Byrne's "McGoorty, The Story of a Billiard Bum" McGoorty says, "Believe it or not, in the early 1920's in Cook's County, Illinois, there were 5,200 licensed pool halls." He goes on to say, "In the Chicago Loop alone -- where there is not a single poolroom today -- there were twelve big layouts, each one with no less than forty tables. Augie Kieckhefer's place at 18 East Randolph street, which was pretty much my headquarters, had fifty-five tables on one floor -- forty were billiards, the rest pool and snooker."

Lou Figueroa

Shows how Billiards, not Pocket Billiards, was the most popular game in that time period.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Shows how Billiards, not Pocket Billiards, was the most popular game in that time period.


5,200 licensed *pool halls* in one county and that shows how billiards was more popular?!

And you seemed to have missed that Danny MsGoorty was a 3C player and he was talking about his home room. Of course he'd choose a home room that catered to billiard players. But Chicago and most major cities had a ton of pool tables back in the day.

Lou Figueroa
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hah!....you think we got some high-rollers today?...relatively pikers in history...

1859...Michael Phelan beat John Seereiter at 4-ball for what was considered the first
American championship.
250.000$ changed hands on that match, including side bets.

At that time you could have a full meal for less than one dollar...
That quarter million today would be worth 7,737,650.60 dollars.
 

Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
That would be the good work of our own JMDinVa...commonly known as Mr. Mayor! ...also a tournament director (VA State Championships), a PBIA certified instructor, a father and husband. You DO get around Josh! :thumbup:

Scott Lee
Director, SPF National Pool School Tour

Anyone who is interested in the history of billiard games needs to get William Hendricks' booklet. The following is from page 14 of Hendricks' "History" in the section titled "The Eighteenth Century: Billiards for Everyman."
[billiards still expensive ...] Even when the affluent did not wish
to mingle, the less-wealthy colonists could be obstreperously
democratic when it came to billiards. A horrified British officer
describes a 1780 dispute at colonial billiards between a gentleman
and "a low fellow" at a public table.

I shall relate the way the accident happened, to shew the
ferociousness of the lower class in this country; this gentleman
was at play in the billiard-room, where there were a number of
gentlemen and several of our officers: a low fellow, who
pretends to gentility came in, and in the course of play, some
words arose, in which he first wantonly abused [the gentleman]
and afterward ... flew at him, and in an instant turned his eye
out of the socket, and while it hung upon his cheek, the fellow
was barbarous enough to endeavor to pluck it entirely out, but
was prevented.(*)


(*) From Jane Carson's "Colonial Virginians at Play," University
Press of Virginia, 1964, p. 85.

I have heard that billiards in Virginia is more civilized now.
 

DynoDan

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Billiard parlors were popular in the old west....The Earps really did enjoy the game.....

Don’t know the genealogy/relation, but the old poolhall where I grew up in Wyatt’s hometown (also Ralph G. birthplace) was once owned by the Earp family. 50’s population was 10,000 and had then at least 4 poolhalls (not counting numerous taverns with bar boxes, which were just starting to appear).
P.S. As far as I know, women were typically never admitted in small town poolrooms (the ‘good old days’). It wasn’t until Brunswick came up with the wholesome ‘Family Recreation’ concept in the mid-50s (?) and started installing pool tables in their bowling alleys to attract more women & children (and boost failing revenue) that the ‘general’ public really had free access.
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Anyone who is interested in the history of billiard games needs to get William Hendricks' booklet. The following is from page 14 of Hendricks' "History" in the section titled "The Eighteenth Century: Billiards for Everyman."
[billiards still expensive ...] Even when the affluent did not wish
to mingle, the less-wealthy colonists could be obstreperously
democratic when it came to billiards. A horrified British officer
describes a 1780 dispute at colonial billiards between a gentleman
and "a low fellow" at a public table.

I shall relate the way the accident happened, to shew the
ferociousness of the lower class in this country; this gentleman
was at play in the billiard-room, where there were a number of
gentlemen and several of our officers: a low fellow, who
pretends to gentility came in, and in the course of play, some
words arose, in which he first wantonly abused [the gentleman]
and afterward ... flew at him, and in an instant turned his eye
out of the socket, and while it hung upon his cheek, the fellow
was barbarous enough to endeavor to pluck it entirely out, but
was prevented.(*)


(*) From Jane Carson's "Colonial Virginians at Play," University
Press of Virginia, 1964, p. 85.

I have heard that billiards in Virginia is more civilized now.

Trivia note , Jim Bowie was an eye plucker, of some renown.
Before he invented the Bowie Knife , weapons were illegal in Louisiana, so the men would harden their fingernails in a fire, for eye gouging.
 
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