pre-20th Century

A brief history of significant dates for the Company and some other interesting dates concerning the developments in Billiards & Snooker.
1799 - John Thurston established in Newcastle Street,St. Clement Danes, Strand, London as a Cabinet Maker and Billiards Table Maker .

1807 - The first leather cue tips used by Monsieur Mingaud -a retired French Infantry Officer which he punched out from old leather harness.

1814 - John Thurston moved to Catherine Street nearby and became the very first to specialise in making Billiards and Bagatelle Tables and Billiards Room Furniture. Their factory at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea named 'The Waterloo Billiard Works'.

1820 - Darlington founded in Liverpool as manufacturers of bowling green bowls and ivory turning.
1826 - John Thurston introduced the first Slate Bed (Thurston's old records show that a slate bed was supplied to White's Club -London In 1832).
1826 - John Thurston was granted the Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George IV -(Sole appointment) .

1830 - Thos. Padmore established as a Billiards Table Maker in Little Charles Street Birmingham.

1833 - John Thurston was granted the Royal Warrant of His Majesty King William IV - (Sole appointment).

1835 - John Thurston introduced the first natural rubber cushions, which superseded the old Stuffed List Cushions, made up of layers of felt padding.

1837 - John Thurston was granted the Royal Warrant of Her Majesty Queen Victoria -(Sole appointment).
1845 - John Thurston introduced and patented the first Vulcanised Rubber Cushions. (The original Letters Patent is displayed at Thurston's).

Also about this time John Bruswick, the founder of the great U.S.A. Billiard company saw a Thurston table, was impressed by the quality,  and set about making Billiard tables in the U.S.A.

1850 - John Thurston died, business continued by his right hand man Samuel Pitts in partnership with G. J. Atkins, later his son Thos. Pitts was active in the business until about 1890.
1851 - Thurston's awarded the Prize Medal (Highest Award) at the Great Exhibition.
1868 - The first Composition Billiard Balls Invented by Mr John Wesley Hyatt of Albany, New York State, and called the Bonzoline Ball.
1869 - Thurston's introduced the Improved Vulcanised Rubber Cushions.
1869 - J .Ashcroft established as Billiard table Makers in Liverpool.

1871 - Thos. Padmore moved office & factory to 118 Edmund Street, Birmingham
1875 - SNOOKER INVENTED" by Army Officers playing in the Officers Mess at Jubblepore, India.
1882 - Thurston's introduced the "Perfect Low Cushion". In 1885 John Roberts writes.. "your Cushions are simply perfect"
1882 - A "COMMITTEE" of Army Officers agreed the original Rules of SNOOKER at Ootacmund, India.

1885 - The first meeting of the Billiards Association was held on 1st February at the offices of "The Sportsman" composed of Professional Players and Billiards Traders. Followed by weekly meetings chaired by John Roberts, the work of revising the rules of billiards was concluded 21st September 1885.

1885 - PERADON'S founded by Leopold George Peradon manufacturing Billiard Cues at Linacre Road, Willesden, London
1886 - J .Ashcroft's award Gold Medal for the 'excellence of the Billiard Table' .

1887 - Thurston's introduced and patented the first 'bottomless' pocket.
1891 - Thurston introduced their patented 'Adamant Block' cushions.
1891 - In response to invitations several Billiards Traders prepared and submitted models of a proposed Standard Size of Billiards Table. At a meeting on 28th April 1891 the Billiards Association selected Thurston's Model
1892 - Thurston table specified in the revised rules of Billiards Association and it has been the standard stipulated ever since and on which all Billiard & Snooker tables are still based.

1896 - BILLARD VAN LAERE established as Billiard Table Makers in Brussels.


© E.A. Clare & Son Ltd. 2018

All items displayed are from the N. Clare collection.

Reproduction of articles allowed only with permission from E.A. Clare & Son Ltd.
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