science

Exploding Billiard Balls

Soon after the first billiard balls made with artificial materials went on the market, some unsuspecting fool (really, even ivory would have been damaged by this, so what was he thinking?) put a lit cigar end to a nitrocellulose ball whilst playing. The saloon keeper wrote to the manufacturer complaining that the ball had ‘gone off with a bang, and every man in the place pulled his gun.’ (Creative Chemistry, Slosson from chapter six, Cellulose)

 

3 thoughts on “Exploding Billiard Balls

    1. Sort of like the Amazon reviews on a few products. Would be hysterical to track down antique customer complaints! For one thing, it was harder to make them back in the day of snail-mail, so you know they were really upset.

Leave a Reply