Celluloid billiard balls

Celluloid billiard balls

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Credit: GREGORY TOBIAS/CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Celluloid billiard balls. These balls were developed as an alternative to the traditional ivory balls, and were patented in 1869 by US inventor John Wesley Hyatt (1837-1920). Celluloid is a mixture of nitrocellulose and camphor. It is a thermoplastic, the first to be discovered, meaning it can be remelted and remoulded. Hyatt's work was based on the patent he acquired from the British inventor Alexander Parkes (1813-1890), who had named the plastic Parkesine in 1856. Celluloid became a popular replacement for ivory and wood before more stable and less flammable thermoplastics were discovered.

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Keywords: 1800s, 1860s, 19th century, 1st, albany billiard ball company, alexander parkes, balls, billiard ball, camphor, celluloid, chemical, chemistry, first, flammable, historical, history, john wesley hyatt, many, multiple, nitrocellulose, parkesine, set, still life, still-life, studio shot, thermoplastic, white background, xylonite

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