How did the ball colors and numbers start?

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
All colors = white is called "additive". Don't ask me any more because I can't answer, but you can google it. This is color created by light. Light at an ice capades show, the color on tv or on your monitor. That's all additive color and when combined you get white. The color on the billiard balls, the color you get with paint, the color you mix, the color you know about from elementary school is called "subtractive". Again don't ask me why I can't answer :) So when your color theory guy was telling you about "absence of light" he wasn't talking about PAINT color, he was talking about LIGHT color.

In the world of pigmented color, the world of mixed color, black is a "color" unto its own, as is white. That is why your inkjet printer has red (magenta), blue (cyan), yellow (otherwise known as yellow :) ), and black. It also goes by the acronym CMYK, K being "key" or black, and don't ask me why about that either, they should have just called it CYMB :smile:

It is a printing term denoting the Key Printing Plate that impressed the artistic detail. The black and other colors are made with a registration system {usually a series of holes in the plates that correspond to hooks on the plate cylinders} so that the images are laid down on top of one another once they are attached to the printing press.
 
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Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
All colors = white is called "additive". Don't ask me any more because I can't answer, but you can google it. This is color created by light. Light at an ice capades show, the color on tv or on your monitor. That's all additive color and when combined you get white. The color on the billiard balls, the color you get with paint, the color you mix, the color you know about from elementary school is called "subtractive". Again don't ask me why, I can't answer :) So when your color theory guy was telling you about "absence of light" he wasn't talking about PAINT color, he was talking about LIGHT color.

In the world of pigmented color, the world of mixed color, black is a "color" unto its own ( as is white) and NOT a mixture of all colors as a poster said. That is why your inkjet printer has red (magenta), blue (cyan), yellow (otherwise known as yellow :) ), and black. It also goes by the acronym CMYK, K being "key" or black, and don't ask me why about that either, they should have just called it CYMB :smile:
Actually, all colors are light - and black is the absence of color in both cases. Pigments are just a way of controlling which light reaches your eyes by controlling which light is absorbed by the pigment.

pj
chgo
 

vasilios

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Actually, all colors are light - and black is the absence of color in both cases. Pigments are just a way of controlling which light reaches your eyes by controlling which light is absorbed by the pigment.

pj
chgo

Try telling a caveman all of that while he is grinding up some yellow and red clay and he will shove a stick in you.

bill
 

oldschool1478

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My friend Kenny Ellis came over last night, and showed me
something interesting about the balls colors and numbers.

He said it's all about the number eight. (see photo)

Add all the numbers up and you get 120. 120 divided by 15 = 8
Subtract any soild color ball's number by the same color stripe's number, and you get 8.
Only the black ball has no stripe version. It's number is 8.

Dan
 

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pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
My friend Kenny Ellis came over last night, and showed me
something interesting about the balls colors and numbers.

He said it's all about the number eight. (see photo)

Add all the numbers up and you get 120. 120 divided by 15 = 8
Subtract any soild color ball's number by the same color stripe's number, and you get 8.
Only the black ball has no stripe version. It's number is 8.

Dan

Interesting post, but I got one complaint....
...the 12-ball and the 13-ball aint froze....:)
 

Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
Gold Member
Silver Member
Americans did not initially play billiard games with more than 3 or 4 balls, and each ball was always worth a single point.
(so there would have been no reason for numbers on the ball)
But by 1850 or so, the Russian game of "Pyramid" had become the basis for a 'new' American "15 ball pool" game*, in which each ball is worth it's face value. In other words, the numbers were added to place a point value on each ball, that could be higher than a single point.

But then, as mentioned before, scratching up the balls was found to be a bad idea. So they dyed them instead. As you might imagine, Red, Blue and Yellow came first**, followed by the secondary colors.


* for the first time in history, we played with 15 balls at once. (and used a rack) but this game was not very popular for many more decades.

**a 5-ball 'russian pool' game circa 1850 called for two white balls, one red, one yellow and one blue.
 

LAlouie

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Actually, all colors are light - and black is the absence of color in both cases. Pigments are just a way of controlling which light reaches your eyes by controlling which light is absorbed by the pigment.

pj
chgo

Well said, but not practical in any way because people don't think about the physics of "controlling light" when they mix paints at their local Sherman Williams :smile: For the purposes of the poster who I was quoting or anyone for that matter, let's see him mix yellow, red, and blue pigment, and come up with white because that is how we deal with color.
 
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Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
jgobigred...You must have been smoking a doobie in class that day too. LOL Here's what the scientists have to say...

WHY IS THE SKY BLUE?

The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. As light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the air.

However, much of the shorter wavelength light is absorbed by the gas molecules. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.

As you look closer to the horizon, the sky appears much paler in color. To reach you, the scattered blue light must pass through more air. Some of it gets scattered away again in other directions. Less blue light reaches your eyes. The color of the sky near the horizon appears paler or white.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

The sky is not blue! It is every color but blue and that is why it reflects the color blue back to your inferior human eyeballs! Lol, not sure why we had to learn this in inorganic chemistry in college but it is one thing I remember. Sort of. I was too busy smokin doobies and chasing pussy to graduate!
 

LAlouie

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
jgobigred...You must have been smoking a doobie in class that day too. LOL Here's what the scientists have to say...

WHY IS THE SKY BLUE?

The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. As light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the air.

However, much of the shorter wavelength light is absorbed by the gas molecules. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.

As you look closer to the horizon, the sky appears much paler in color. To reach you, the scattered blue light must pass through more air. Some of it gets scattered away again in other directions. Less blue light reaches your eyes. The color of the sky near the horizon appears paler or white.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

I prefer to think of the sky/outer space as real blue :smile::smile: because that way, on my first trip to the planet Jupiter I will be in awe that "Why, it's not blue at all, is it!"
 
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Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
The color sequence continues beyond the 15 for larger sets of balls. Here is a 19 ball that is for sale on Ebay. It has red caps and a white belt -- it is an anti-stripe. And of course it is 8 more than the red stripe.

CropperCapture[17].jpg
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I had a BCAPL league Operator ask me a question and I have no idea of the answer. He has asked around for years and no-one can tell him.

But AZ know EVERYTHING! - so how did the colors of the balls originate? The numbers are fairly logical - as is the 7 solids and 7 stripes and the one black (8) ball.

Could have been different though.

Years ago they made sets of 21 balls - but the 8 was still the 8 (and not the '10') - which would be the middle ball.

Same could be said for 9-ball rack (with 4 each of stripes and solids) buyt this probably would not offer a big enough challenge.

So- who knows the answer?

Thanks,

Mark Griffin

Mr. Mark,

this is speculation, but i think in France from croquet (the out door lawn game) pool was invented as a alternative for inclimanate weather to be played indoors with mallets (before cues ). I know croquet balls don't have numbers but they share similar colors. I seen the HARDCORE croquet players at Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills years ago and spoke about the history of it with a 90 something year old man-in 1993. He thought the pool balls got their colors like this.

I think due to the nature of the game the numbers came-perhaps years later. In some cases in th UK no numbers in 8 ball (reds/yellows) and snooker,.



best

Eric:)
 

jgobigred

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Although that is very likely, I was referring the fact that if something appears to be a color, it is actually absorbing all the other colors and reflecting the color you see back towards you. Your explanation is of why the sky appears to be blue.
 
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