Jun 21, 2010

Pool Cue History

According to reference sources, before the cue came the mace. This was something like a lightweight golf club with a foot at the end of it that was used to push the cue ball rather than strike it. Sounds strange but true!

If the cue ball became frozen against a cushion, it was difficult to use the mace because the foot did not fit under the edge of the cushion. So you could not strike the ball cleanly.

By the late 17th century, players took up the practive of turning the mace around and using the butt end to play shots off the cushions. It is from this that we get the word 'cue' - stemming from the French word 'queue' meaning tail. Hence flatless cue sticks were in common use by the turn of the 18th/19th century. The mace, however, was in use until well into the 19th century.

The introduction of the cue opened up new possibilities for billiards and snooker and eventually led to the development of rubber cushions. Then followed the game of pool including 9 ball and so it was that pool cues developed in a different way to snooker cues.

The use of chalk with a cue is also an interesting part of cue history ... in the days before tips were put onto cues, a player would sometimes twist the end of his cue into a plaster wall or ceiling to get a chalk type deposit on the end - this reduced the chances of a miscue and so provided an advantage in the game.

It was John Carr who first sold cue chalk in small boxes.

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