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Thread: Does today's equipment really make the game easier

  1. #1
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    Does today's equipment really make the game easier

    We've all heard by now how simonis 860 cloth and the nice plastic ball used today supposedly make the game much easier than the days of yesteryear. I assume this must be especially true in straight pool probably more than any other game. But is this really true? Jim Rempe and Mike Sigel seem to think so, so who are we to dispute them.

    During the days of yor, guys like Mosconi and Caris and Greenleaf used to runs hundreds on 5X10 tables with clay balls and Brunswich burlap cloth. I suspect to get the rack to spred with that equipment you practically needed a blasting cap!

    Who knows that if Mosconi had been playing on the equipment of today when in 1954 he had that 526 ball run it might not have been 1,526!!!

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    Re: Does today's equipment really make the game easier

    I almost forgot to mention the new bridge extenders that are used today and most certainly weren't around some 40 or 50 years ago as well!

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    Re: Does today's equipment really make the game easier

    You would have to go back farther then 40 or 50 years to see any significant differences I would think. Other then the cloth, and some was pretty fast even back then the game has not changed much. The cues I am sure are much better now. I think the biggest difference may be air conditioning. Can you imagine playing in the summer back then. I remember seeing a Matthew Brady type picture of some men playing in a saloon around the 1880's. and thinking how hard that table. must have been to play on.

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    Re: Does today's equipment really make the game easier

    Grady in his video said that it was easier back in the day. Apparently the old 5X10 tables had much bigger pockets (hard to believe, i think you guys already have way too big pockets compared to snooker and uk 8ball)

    Grady did say that the players of today were definitely better

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    Re: Does today's equipment really make the game easier

    I played snooker in the UK and I was very surprised at how big the pockets were. They were about as big as a tight pool table. The snooker tables in the US have very small pockets. If you get on a golf table, impossibly small.

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    Re: Does today's equipment really make the game easier

    Great topic, Dennis.

    I think I remember Mosconi saying it was harder playing with the old equipment.

    My friend has an old set of clay balls and every so often we'd break out the box and play. Forget it. You may as well be playing with rocks. Forget about spinning balls. You have to get the perfect angle or you're sunk. Very tough.

    I was watching the show "Modern Marvels" on the History channel and they had a segment on billiard balls. They said that during WW II Brunswick-Colander-Balk (spelling?)put out a notice to the public asking for suggestions for a replacement material for billiard balls because importing ivory had been banned. They offered a $5000 bonus for the one who came up with the best material. The winner was a guy that liked to putter around with things, not a scientist, who came up with a combination of substances that were durable enough to withstand the constant impact of balls hitting each other. This substance later became known as plastic. The government became interested, contacted Brunswick and began to use the product in airplane construction, which they claim made the production and repair of fighter planes all the more easier and quicker, which eventually led to winning the war.

    Fran

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    Re: Exploding balls

    http://www.americanplasticscouncil.o...uary_2000.html

    <font color="red">excerpt: </font color>

    Whoever said nothing good ever came out of a saloon?
    Toward the end of the 19th century, billiards had become so popular that hundreds of elephants were being killed each day for their ivory, which was what billiard balls were made of at the time. As Ivory became more scarce as well as more expensive, billiard ball manufacturers were desperate to find an alternative. In 1863, Hyatt saw a poster in Albany, NY, advertising $10,000 for anyone capable of producing billiard balls out of something other than ivory. While in his workshop, Hyatt was surprised when he discovered that the chemical collodion that he had spilt on the floor congealed into a tough, flexible film. Unfortunately, the balls produced from collodion alone were very volatile, and would explode when they hit each other. So Hyatt added camphor, a tough, white, aromatic gum resin, to the collodion and celluloidTM -- the first thermoplastic -- was discovered in 1866. Hyatt founded the Albany Dental Plate Company in 1870. It produced celluloid dental plates, replacing, the expensive vulcanized rubber plates used at the time.

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    Re: Does today's equipment really make the game easier

    Fran, I think I have to agree with you on this. Along with Mike Sigel and Jim Rempe you're in good company in your opinions on this.

    I remember first starting to play with the old clay balls and your right there's a world of difference between those and the balls of today.

    Regarding the old 5X10's they had TIGHT pockets not big ones so I'd like to dipell that myth as well. Rempe talked about the old 80/20 Mali cloth they had to play on back then that was much tougher. All this combined seems to point to a much tougher games in those days which is what Sigel and Rempe rightfully mantain. I suspect that I agree with them.

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    Re: Orgin of the modern pool ball

    Fran,
    A long time ago I remember reading an article about this inventor looking for a better material for use in dentures. The result was a new substitute for pool and billiard balls.

    Paul Mon

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    Re: Does today's equipment really make the game easier

    I don't know if there was a standard back then. I have read and been told that in the 1960s when pool began becoming very popular again, that some manufactures like Brunswick began making the pockets bigger. I remember some of the old Gold Crown's with really big pockets. Even in tournament play many of the tables supplied were too easy for championship play. If you ever see the tape of Irving Crane running out 150 in the 1966 US open. He should have missed many times the table was so easy. Referring back to what you said about the old 5x10's The ones used in championship play were set up tough. I believe 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 was what many of them were. Mosconi told me he had played on tables with 4 inch pockets. One of his knocks on today's game was always how easy the tables are. Not long before he died, (his game now very weak) I saw him set up a break shot and run off 42 balls (three racks), he left a good break shot but quit at that point. He walked over and sat down. He turned and said "If I was playing on that table 30 years ago, I might have run a thousand." I am told though, that the table he ran the 527 or 28 I forget, was a pretty easy table also. It makes sense because he never posted a run like that till the 1950's. If the tables were in fact so easy as Grady says back then, Mosconi would have done numbers like that much sooner.

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