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."
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