Pool Tables History Is Uncertain

 By: Annie Deakin
Pool tables and the game of pool have been around since at least the 1500's. When they actually first appeared is uncertain. One popular theory is that pool tables and pool got its start from the game of croquet.

While this theory cannot be proven it does make sense. There are some similarities between croquet and pool. Although these games are different in their playing areas they do have other similarities. The green surface that is common with pool tables could have originated to resemble the green lawn that croquet is played on.

There is a famous picture of King Louis XIV playing with croquet balls on a table top. Whether this is how pool tables got their start is uncertain. However it would make sense that if this was its origin that eventually there would need to be a method designed to keep the balls on the table and this would explain bumpers and pockets.

Although the start of pool is unknown it is known that the wealthy and upper-class of Europe were fond of the game of pool prior to the 1600's. Shakespeare even mentions billiards in one of his famous plays. In time this game caught on with the lower class as well.

The colonist brought over pool tables with them when they came to America. This game was even popular with the founding fathers. In fact Benjamin Franklin was known to have a pool table in his home. There was also a pool table placed in the White house in the 1800's. Among the presidents that enjoyed playing were Lincoln and Washington.

This popularity among the first presidents and other founding fathers indicates that pool tables were indeed popular with the upper class. However pool tables were apparently destined to become common among the regular citizen as well as with presidents and aristocracy.

The 1800's saw a boom in the popularity of pool tables. This period also saw the rise of the pool shark. There were many famous pool sharks during the first half of the 20th century. However the game that was played then is different than what is commonly played in modern times.

8 ball is the most popular version of the game of pool played today. One of the reasons this game may have become popular is the fact that it is played on a smaller table. During the 1950's after prohibition smaller tables began to become popular in bars.

Since the 1950's pool has become increasingly more popular. Pool tables can be found in almost all bars and there even pool halls that focus on attracting the avid pool player. Although this game was originally popular among men it has caught on with women in recent times and now some of the best players are women.

The idea of owning pool tables at home is no longer reserved for the wealthy Pool tables have become more affordable and consequently more popular in homes. The modern pool table comes available in many different materials and styles including some of the finest woods.
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Article Tags: pool, pool tables, tables, billiards

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