Billiard Chalk

Billiard Chalk ( now know in the U.K. as Snooker Chalk)


The following is taken from Norman Clare's lectures :-

I should perhaps also briefly refer to the Billiard Chalk. It seems that chalk was used on the ends of cues even before the leather tips were used, in order to try and prevent or reduce miscuing. It is perhaps interesting to note that even today we use ordinary white chalk on the wooden chuck in a lathe in order to grip a Bowling Green Bowl firmly during the turning process. Originally the chalk used was white, but this made such a mess of the playing surface that the green and blue Chalks were introduced, which were not so noticeable on the green playing surface of the Billiard Cloth.

Note - Now other colours of chalk are available due in no small part to the range of coloured pool table cloth available

The earliest reference I have found concerning the use of chalk in order to give the cue a better "bite" or "grip" seems to indicate that during the 1820's John Bartley of Bath first used chalk in order to apply "screw" or "side" to Billiard Balls, having discovered the advantages of using chalk for this purpose he astonished the spectators by the shots he was then able to play.

 

The earliest reference I have found concerning the use of chalk in order to give the cue a better "bite" or "grip" seems to indicate that during the 1820's John Bartley of Bath first used chalk in order to apply "screw" or "side" to Billiard Balls, having discovered the advantages of using chalk for this purpose he astonished the spectators by the shots he was then able to play.

Bartley Billiard Hall

John Carr, who acted as marker, came to know the secret, and apparently made a small fortune by selling "twisting chalk" to other players, with the promise that they would be able to perform similar shots, and as many players will admit chalk on the tip of a cue certainly makes a tremendous difference to the players ability in controlling the cue ball.

 Billiard Snooker Chalk is a manufactured commodity, and can vary in texture and quality tremendously. Present day chalks contain a considerable quantity of abrasive matter, and I have been told that in recent years before the war, one well known American Chalk of the brand name "Spinks" actually contained finely ground glass.

(End off section from Norman Clare's lecture)

 

We have in the collection quite a comprehensive range of chalks, some with odd shapes, some with advertisement from the firms who sold the chalk. They make quite an interesting part of the collection in their own right and so the following pictures show the types we have on display. We also have some chalk related items such as the magnetic chalk holders and ceiling chalk holders . So these will also be included in the gallery.

 Some of the chalk age can be guessed at based on the 'old' billiard firms names but the chalks are not in any particular order other than when the pictures were taken unless otherwise stated.

Page 1

 Page 2

 Holders Pic

 

Per Tri G

Triangle Pro chalk distributed in 2016 by Peradon for Tweeten

We also have a collection of chalk boxes, some of which give information about where it is made and the firm supply or distributing the product.

T3-T6

 

T7-T8

Royal Blue a U.K. made billiard chalk; the Stadium calk also made in the U/.K. by the same manufacturers of white finger chalk

Box St Martin

Box St Martin 2

     St. Martin billiard chalk was at one time

       considered to be the best chalk avaiable

Box PRO Triangle

Triangle ProChalk

introduced in 2016 by Tweeten and made in the U.S.A. in collaberation with Peradon

The fact that the chalk dust can easily soil both the players hands and clothing has meant that over the years all sorts of devices have been 'invented' and sold to try and reduce the problem. Perhaps the simplest was the chalk cup, fixed to the underside of the cushion. This meant that the player didn't mnee their own piece of chalk.

 Chalk Cup 2

An example of a wooden billiard chalk cup

(occasionally Thurston have some of these available for sale - phone +44 (0)151 482 2700)

Other devices have been ceiling suspended units, using pulleys and weights that kept the chalk out of the way of play but allowed the player to take hold of the chalk and pull it down to the tip to chalk their cue.

Chalk Holder

T14

  An example of this Brunswick unit is on display in the collection

Williams Chalk Hanger

The picture on the right shows an example of the Williams Chalk Hanger on display in the collection

Orme Chalk Suspender

 

This rather decorative Orme ceiling chalk holder is another exhibit

Chalk Suspender

 

Another somewhat less sophisticated version of the ceiling chalk suspender

magnetci chalk holders

To save players putting the chalk into their pockets the magnetic holders with a belt cilp were quite a novel idea which have proved to be popular.

Perhaps one of the more bizarre items is a battery operated (sadly not now in working order) hand held chalker. The unit rotated the chalk and also had a place to hold chlk dust to use on your bridge hand to allow a smooth cue action.

Hand Chaker2

 

Over the years ways for Clubs to offer chalk for sale and collect the money without handling each small cube have been tried. One of the earliest that we have in the Collection takes round packed pieces like the Chas. Parker chalks shown earlier in the article.

Chalk Dispenser 1

Chalkdispenser 2

 

 

 

Both these units charge a penny (old copper £sd penny)

 

Chalk Dispenser 2 

 

In the 1980/90s the idea was again tried but with a 50p charge

All pictures ©Peter Clare The article is ©2016 Peter Clare & E.A. Clare & Son Ltd.

 

The article & pictures can only be

used or re-printed in part or whole

with the permission of E.A. Clare & Son Ltd

eshop- thurston.co.uk

email - thurston@eaclare.co.uk

phone - 44(0)151 482 2700