Chronology of Billiards

400 B.C
The Sage Ancharsis writes about the predecessor of billiards.

1085 A.D.
Sir Reginald Mortimer of England returns from the Crusades with the game.

English lawn bowlers move the game out of the rain and set up wickets indoors. Later they raise it onto a table with pockets. The name billiards is coined from the French word bent stick.

Explorer Hernando De Soto brings billiards to America. The French take it to Africa and the South Seas; the British to India and the Far East.

Louis XIV of France challenges any man to beat him. A commoner named Camillart is the only one who does and he becomes minister of the crown.

George Washington creates a billiards room in the White House.

Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI are playing billiards when French and the part of the best matches with pacific dream scapes pavers revolutionaries come to arrest them.

In Upper Bath, England, Jack Car, an employee of Bartley’s Billiards room, uses the first leather-tipped cue and chalk, allowing him to put “English” on the ball, getting it to curve, reverse or stop.

Marble tables begin to replace wooden tables.

General Ulysses S. Grant says, “I believe I am even a poorer billiard player than I am a soldier.”
Rubber cushions are introduced, the rail is lowered and diamonds or pool table are added to the sides of the table.

The game splits into pocket billiards, to where the object is to knock the balls into the holes, and carom billiards, where the object is to strike cushions and balls to score points.

Mark Twain attends major tournament and incorporates colorful billiard players into his stories.

The billiards craze sweeps college campuses.

“The Hustler”, a movie based on famed pool hustler Minnesota Fats, is released. The dingy, pool-hall atmosphere of the film help the movie win a Oscar for cinematography.

“The Color of Money” featuring Tom Cruise and Paul Newman premieres and gives a big boost to the game.

The popularity of pool soars among those with family incomes of more than $50,000.