Celluloid Billiard Ball


This billiard ball, a gift of the Celanese Corporation, is made of cellulose nitrate, a substance eventually known as "celluloid." John Wesley Hyatt, a printer, was encouraged to develop the new substance when he saw an ad offering $10,000 to the person who invented a usable substitute for ivory in billiard balls. Hyatt eventually achieved success with his new material, forming the Celluloid Manufacturing Co. in 1871, but never received the $10,000 award.

The ball is mounted on a walnut stand with a silver label stating, "Made in 1868 of Cellulose Nitrate, Celluloid. The Year John Wesley Hyatt Discovered This First Plastics Resin."

Date Made: 1868

Inventor: Hyatt, John WesleyOriginator: Hyatt, John Wesley

Location: Currently not on view

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Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Celanese Plastic Company

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: CH.334572Accession Number: 310799Catalog Number: 334572

Object Name: billiard ballCelluloid Billiard Ball

Physical Description: plastic, resin, celluloid (overall material)wood, walnut (overall material)wood; celluloid; silver plated metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 13 cm x 14 cm x 9 cm; 5 1/8 in x 5 1/2 in x 3 9/16 inbase: 75 mm x 34 mm; x 2 15/16 in x 1 5/16 inbilliard ball: 57 mm; x 2 1/4 inoverall: 5 1/8 in x 5 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in; 13.0175 cm x 13.97 cm x 8.89 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a0-e67b-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_2947

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