IMAGINED EVOLUTION of BILLIARD BALLS (1 of 3)

K2Kraze

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What came first - the billiard ball or the billiard table?

It is my contention that the balls always came first.

In the beginning, there was a ball of a certain size and composition - and an ageless child dreamt up a game to play...with that ball. And so it began - an evolution of balls and games together. But give credit to the ball - for if there were no balls, there would never have been a need for a field, a game or the magnificent pool table.

So here’s a fun and rambling piece I tossed together on the Imagined Evolution Of Billiard Balls.

The following progression was thrown together in haste merely to illustrate one possibility, with a visual example (albeit using modern-day ball sets in most cases) and is not intended as a historical account by any means. I thought this may be a fun yet challenging task to come up with a reasonable summation to an age-old question I’ve heard for decades: “How did the billiard ball - and the games we play with them - evolve into what we see today?”

Let’s play....

In the beginning...most likely, balls of the same color were used: ARAMITH WHITES

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Plain white balls became too commonplace. Time for new colors. Like the ARAMITH REDS

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There soon needed to be a way to differentiation between balls for player 1 and player 2 - and the easiest way to do that would be to have a ball color for each player. ARAMITH CASINO

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The ideas and desire for another other way to choose a particular ball from your opponent became necessary - a simple design element that easily morphed into solids and stripes: the PRESTIGE SET

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Adding numbers would be a simple process someone proclaims, resulting in something akin to the HIGHSKORE VERTICALS

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Invariably, the numbering had to evolve along more historic lines while bringing a level of par extraordinaire to the baize. The amazing HYATT ROMANIQUES

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A most likely progression was then adding numbers to one color, sophisticated and yet more everyday use ball set: ARAMITH RUSSIAN PYRAMIDS

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The idea to combine what they’ve seen so far would lead to adding those numbers to each of the solids and stripes along with new materials as showcased with the HYATT FANCY O’s

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More artistic and elaborate elements surely followed. The HYATT DIRECT SITE HEXAGONALS

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A noteworthy period for most players today was the transitional design from early clay ball sets to the plastics and phenolic era we see today - and the many darted designs bearing the honorable name Brunswick and their illustrious CENTENNIAL

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part 2 of 3 next...
 

K2Kraze

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
IMAGINED EVOLUTION of BILLIARD BALLS (2 of 3)


Changes in new games around the globe required simple colored balls from already known experiments and one of the greatest games ever conceived: ARAMITH SNOOKER

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Numbers quickly became too blasé and the artistic players prevailed: simply started by copying other games of the times: basic ARAMITH POKER SET

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The rise of creativity carried over to copying poker game cards - which led to colored suits of balls appealing to a wide audience: 21 BALL POKER SETS

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Numbers and basic designs became tiresome and boring, so recognizable images became standard like playing stars vs circles STARBALL

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Then came the ingenious notion of combining those everyday solids and stripes into something more en vogue. STERLING DESIGN CRISS-CROSS

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Technology takes hold with additional design elements and phenolic content being the difference between similar balls and give us the CYCLOP SET

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Fully unleashed creative elements produce themed sets and unique fonts: LUNAR ROCKS

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Every possible sports team from college to the professional major leagues: NFL NBA MLB

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Then came the crazy era of popular movies and film based ball sets: SCARFACE

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Very special adaptation games that needed specific balls to be manufactured like CUEMATE

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part 3 of 3 up next...
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When people ask you to send nudes, they just expect the 2 balls.

I have to look some of these up now to check if they are for sale.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
IMAGINED EVOLUTION of BILLIARD BALLS (part 3 of 3)


How about the evolution to televised games in general IN THE INTERNET ERA OF 2015 and the push for new ways to capture viewer money and getting in front of us BONUS BALL

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The popular era of televised games ushered in new colors thought to be easier to distinguish on the screen and TELEVISION SETS were introduced

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Whimsy became commonplace with tavern sets like the beautiful GUINNESS

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A period from the 80’s and into the 2000’s showcased an unprecedented rollout of the previously unimaginable - one off sets that are destined to be collectors items one day but for now fall into the “what were they thinking” category...like these SCRABBLE ALPHABETs

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Marketing managers dreamt up the sales boom period for sets to promote anything and everything like PLAYBOY

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Custom made ball sets from premiere manufacturers out of Asia or Belgium like the SARATOGA sets

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The 21st century shows no limits to the imagination and technological advancements over the last decade or so with designs such as this one called the VIGMA VORTEX

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Reaching a period of reflection from days past and designs long ago forgotten, manufactures bring back elements in ball sets like the Hyatt Zig Zags that only existing in a select few collections - reborn if you will with offerings like these in the VIGMA ZIG ZAGS

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Clear plastics and even phenolic resins have existed for a few decades by now, but not near the levels of quality in the 21st century that these can offer under the bright table lights. The TRANSPARENT GLITTER

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And to round out a brief overall of an imagined evolution of balls and games, we needed a ball set to play on special holidays and get-together with friends and family - like the upcoming 4th of July set given to us courtesy of the ARAMITH SPECIAL USA

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Have a safe and enjoyable July holiday this year, folks, and let’s see what the future evolution of this great game and ball sets has to offer as we cruise through 2018



~ K.


Oh - for an interesting jaunt through hundreds of ball sets with accompanying stories and accolades contributed by forum members, go check out the POOL BALL COLLECTING thread started by the honorable Rubik’s Cube. You’re in for a treat, folks.
 

Poodle of Doom

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Funny. I was going to say that someone must of been a collector, and then you reference another thread about pool ball collecting. That glitter set would drive me nuts though.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Funny. I was going to say that someone must of been a collector, and then you reference another thread about pool ball collecting. That glitter set would drive me nuts though.



Funny, alright. That’s what my wife said when I told her I was going to buy a “couple of different sets” to play with...

The ones pictured above in my 3 part post are taken in part from my personal and playable collection - and many of the others I have are indeed showcased in that Pool Ball Collecting (PBC) thread, with quite a few yet to be shared and stories told

Yes, that glitter set is a bit on the disco side, however, everyone that has played that set on my table comments how crazy yet cool they are under the bright table lights. After a few shots, they play no different. Unless you’ve broken out the good Scotch. Then things get squirrelly quick.

 

Poodle of Doom

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Funny, alright. That’s what my wife said when I told her I was going to buy a “couple of different sets” to play with...

The ones pictured above in my 3 part post are taken in part from my personal and playable collection - and many of the others I have are indeed showcased in that Pool Ball Collecting (PBC) thread, with quite a few yet to be shared and stories told

Yes, that glitter set is a bit on the disco side, however, everyone that has played that set on my table comments how crazy yet cool they are under the bright table lights. After a few shots, they play no different. Unless you’ve broken out the good Scotch. Then things get squirrelly quick.


They would be trippy. I once thought about starting a collection of cue balls with designs on them. Then I thought about the fact that I wouldn't have anyplace to put them. Or showcase them. Wouldn't want to play with them. Just shut it down right off the bat basically.
 

AtLarge

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Good job, there, K2K. Neat way to show us a portion of your collection.
 

poolhustler

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Some very cool sets there for sure... I would like a few of those sets myself! Thanks for the post and pics!
 

Cuebuddy

Mini cues
Silver Member
Funny, alright. That’s what my wife said when I told her I was going to buy a “couple of different sets” to play with...

The ones pictured above in my 3 part post are taken in part from my personal and playable collection - and many of the others I have are indeed showcased in that Pool Ball Collecting (PBC) thread, with quite a few yet to be shared and stories told

Yes, that glitter set is a bit on the disco side, however, everyone that has played that set on my table comments how crazy yet cool they are under the bright table lights. After a few shots, they play no different. Unless you’ve broken out the good Scotch. Then things get squirrelly quick.


K2 you and your British equil Rubik's Cube are a couple of the Ace members on this forum and I for one am amazed at your collection, writing and posting skills and general awesomeness! Thanks for putting in so much energy into the threads you are a part of. :cool::cool::cool:
 

K2Kraze

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hello fellow AZB’er Cuebuddy -

Words of appreciation for your kind and generous comments are both humbling and motivating - always a pleasure dealing with many fine folks here on the forum. Sharing and supporting in any way I can is what it’s about - and since Rubik’s is sound asleep at what must be 3am for him, I think I can speak for him as well and say we’ve loved every minute spent so far with many more to come

Happy and safe 4th ahead for you!

~ K.


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Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Good morning, everybody. :)

What a fabulous compendium of treasures, such a rich conspectus presented with style, wit and originality. Thank you, Mr K, it's beautiful work and very much appreciated, especially to catch an early glimpse of those wonderful Pokers!

For such a busy fellow your dedication and passion in collecting and curating these rare gems is extraordinary. It is my sincere wish, dear chap, that one day a Billiard Ball Museum of America will exist with your name welcoming visitors above the door. It has to happen, may the Pool Gods make it so.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hello, RC - good to see you back, up and at em this fine new day, sir -

Your ardent Sherlockian skills are sharp as ever if you noticed that I snuck in an early glimpse of the as-yet-to-be-revealed Poker treasures amongst this playful Evolution post - I’ll be unveiling those along with another rare poker version in the 2.25” offering later this month in your Pool Ball Collecting thread - for both sets are still in the workhouse being restored to days of former glory so they can be played and appreciated. And shared of course.

While waiting for a much delayed airline trip back home, this thread idea crossed my mind and was borne as a way to introduce a few new folks to what’s available out there (in light-hearted fashion) that may not be aware of all the member contributions in the dedicate thread - without getting buried around the 1000 post mark

Your resplendent collection alone is homage to this grand game and one which has inspired me since sharing your collectible gems over the past few years - and there is still so much to exhibit and so many stories to tell.

See you in the PBC thread, my friend ~

K.




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gogg

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I gotta say, those us flag ones are slick as anything I have ever seen!
 

K2Kraze

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just perfect for the planned games tomorrow on July 4th before the festive poolside BBQ leading up to evening fireworks, don’t ya think?

Stars and Stripes it is.



~ K.


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