Celluloid Billiard Ball

Celluloid Billiard Ball

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
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. Though Hyatt eventually achieved success with his new material, forming the Celluloid Manufacturing Co. in 1871, it seems he never received the $10,000 award.
The ball is mounted on a walnut stand and has a silver label stating, "Made in 1868 of Cellulose Nitrate, Celluloid. The Year John Wesley Hyatt Discovered This First Plastics Resin."
Object Name
billiard ball
Celluloid Billiard Ball
Date made
1868
inventor
Hyatt, John Wesley
originator
Hyatt, John Wesley
Associated Place
United States: New Jersey
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 in
base: 75 mm x 34 mm; x 2 15/16 in x 1 5/16 in
billiard ball: 57 mm; x 2 1/4 in
overall: 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
ID Number
CH.334572
accession number
310799
catalog number
334572
Credit Line
Gift of Celanese Plastic Company
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Industry & Manufacturing
Sports & Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object