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The origin and history of:

The main book and bible of its time was the book Modern Billiards. It was produced by the Brunswick company and every year from 1880 up to 1909 they put out the same book with updates. Brunswick was the main authority, ruled the game and the table market. When they spoke, every one listened. I have an 1881 and a 1909 book, I quote from the 1909 book pages 6 and 7.

Modern billiards or pool could not happen until the tip was invented. Prior till then they used a mace which had a broad wood area like a snow plow and you just shoved the ball. Some did turn the mace around and shoot with the narrow end which had no tip and there fore the idea to cover that with a piece of leather from a horse bridal occurred. Men used that end on some shots but ladies with lesser abilities had to use the mace so they would not rip the cloth.
Suddenly the draw and the Masse were soon discovered which was like black magic to all who saw it for the first time. These shots were not possible until a curved leather tip was installed on the end of the mace.
I quote from 1909” Obscure as that of the game itself is the origin of the twist and the draw, the two most important strokes in modern billiards. England claims them both for John Carr, the Bath Marker, on the ground that at some time prior to 1823 he was the first to chalk a cue, which is not a fact: and France claims them for one Capt. Minguad, an alleged professional billiardist, who, while imprisoned for a political offence in 1823, invented the cue leather. As the writer recalls this Minguadism in its entirety, as published in a book issued in Paris about 1868 and reprinted in the Billiard Cue here, it was manifestly pure romance. France may never have had a professional so named, but France did have a Capt. Roget De Lisle, who, imprisoned for a political offence about the beginning of the last century, invented the deathless Marsellaise. Moreover it was about 1868 that the writer, on the authority of prof. Wm. Lake, who was a professional billiard-player here before and after 1823, published that Camille About, a shoemaker, was the pioneer in turning out cue-leathers in New York City prior to 1823, in which year a few were imported from France.

Further to complicate matters, Carr is called the father of the side-stroke by the renowned Pierre Egan, a contemporary of Carr, in his Annals of Sporting, a London periodical: while later English billiard writers recount that room keeper Bartley, Carr’s employer, was the inventor of the side-stroke and the draw, that in due course he showed them to his marker, and that Carr merely profited by vending, as the magical course of both, some powdered chalk in pill boxes at two and six pence a box, Italian, French and Spanish players being his easy customers. End of quote”

I am going holy cow, these guys back then are just like us know, they can’t agree on any thing and it’s obvious somebody invented the tip in 1823 and a bunch of guys all jumped on it at the same time. The author here even says Minguad did not even exist. Well he did and he did tour the crown heads of Europe demonstrating his draws, follows and masses. He wrote the world’s first trick shot book of his shots published in 1827 and I have copies of both the French and English editions. They are the rarest of all books, less than 3 or 4 original copies exist. Several of his shots were considered so hard nobody touched them until I came along, mastered them and put them in my show. One of his shots was in the Tasa world championship and is in the BCA event as well. Minguad is now regarded as the inventor of the leather tip on a cue. That is no longer in question. When he put the first leather tip on the game as we know it today was born. This is why I had him inducted first into the TASA trick shot hall of fame; he was our first ever trick shot master and book author.

Best Wishes,

Fast Larry Guninger

©Fast Larry Guninger, all rights reserved. Published in DC, bpn, czm, upp, ppt, flp, btt.


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Larry became the fastest player alive in 1994, pocketing all 15 billiard balls in just 33.9 seconds, hence the handle " Fast Larry ."

"Larry you are The Great One. The best shotmaker I ever saw." - Ray Martin , 3 time World  Champion and BCA Hall of Famer.