Memory Lane….Great Moments in Billiards History

Everyone gets nostalgic now and again and in honor of Throwback Thursday we’re jumping on board with a look back at some key moments in the history of billiards.

  • 1845: J. M. Brunswick Manufacturing Company produces its first billiards table.
  • 1859: The National Billiards Championship is held in Detroit. The match spanned over four days with the prize being a $15,000 purse (more than $350,000 today). 400 spectators bought tickets to the gallery with another 4,000 waiting for the results just outside.
  • 1906: Willie Hoppe bursts onto the scene with an impressive match in Paris against Maurice Vignaux. His win brings him the nickname “Boy Wonder”.
  • 1950: The Magic Eight Ball is introduced.
  • 1961: The Hustler helps billiards go Hollywood with the help of Paul Newman. The game of billiards saw a big boost in popularity after the release of the film.
  • 1976: The Women’s Professional Billiards Association is founded, leading to the rise in start like The Striking Viking.
  • 1986: Paul Newman does it again with The Color of Money, giving the game of billiards a comeback in popularity.

What moments in billiards history would you add to the list?

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