Michael Phelan, considered the father of American pool, is born in Castle Comer, County Kilkenny, Ireland.
Michael Phelan and family join father John Phelan in New York City.
Phelan’s book “Game of Billiards” is published; he opens a room at the corner of Broadway and 10th, New York. It was considered the finest and most luxurious pool room in the world. He also publishes the first edition of Billiard Cue, the first billiard periodical.
Jim Seereiter and Michael Phelan play in a four-day standing room only tournament in Detroit for an astronomical $15,000. Phelan won; in April Dudley Kavanaugh beats Michael Foley in another high-profile match, also in Detroit.
Phelan retires from active competition; Dudley Kavanagh wins in a pro championship in Irving Hall, New York, June 1-9. He becomes second U.S. pool champion.
Celluloid, the first industrial plastic, is discovered by New Yorker John Wesley Hyatt. Hyatt was attempting to come up with a substitute for ivory billiard balls, but his new substitutes sometimes exploded on impact.
Jerome Keogh, inventor of straight pool and five-times billiard champion, is born.
Keogh wins his first world championship.
Eight ball is invented. The first three-cushion championship is established.
The game of straight pool is invented by Jerome Keogh.
The very first World 14.1 Tournament was held in 1911 and won by Alfredo DeOro.
Straight pool becomes the official tournament game of pocket billiards.
Rudolf Wanderone, AKA Minnesota Fats, is born in New York on Jan. 13. Willie Mosconi is born in Philadelphia on June 27. The industry reports one of its best years, ever, for table sales.
Dudley Kavanaugh dies in New York on March at age 80.
Ralph Greenleaf competes in his first national championship tournament, held in October at Doyle’s Academy in New York. The 16-year-old Greenleaf was described as a “Boy Wonder” by the New York Times.
Greenleaf wins the first of his 13 world titles.
Greenleaf, playing in Detroit, regains the title – his eighth. He defeats the scoreless Frank Taberski with a sensational 126-ball run.
Harold Worst, future three-cushion and pool champion, is born on Sept. 29 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Willie Mosconi makes his national tournament debut.
Willie Mosconi wins the first of 15 world titles.
Jerome Keogh, winner of five titles and the inventor of straight pool, dies at age 80 on January 12.
Harold Worst wins the world three-cushion title during an event held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Willie Mosconi establishes the BCA-recognized straight-pool high-run record of 536 balls. He accomplished the startling feat in Ohio, on a 8 by 4 tables.
Willie Mosconi suffers a stroke.
George Jansco conducts the first of his famous hustler tournaments in Johnston City, Illinois. The tournaments, which lasted about a decade, would eventually attract nationwide attention. His brother Paulie Jansco also helped with the tournaments and later took over after George Jansco’s untimely death in 1969.
20th Century Fox releases “The Hustler.” The film, starring Jackie Gleason and Paul Newman, would reinvigorate the public’s interest in the sport.
Rudolf Wanderone begins making the fanciful claim that he was the real-life inspiration for the film’s Minnesota Fats character.
Three-cushion champ Harold Worst briefly conquers the world of pocket billiards with victories at the Las Vegas Stardust tournament in June, and in Johnston City in October and November.
The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies, the fanciful memoirs written by Minnesota Fats and
Willie Mosconi and Minnesota Fats would play the first of several televised challenge matches. It was the most-viewed pool match in U.S. history, with almost unmatched ratings on ABC.
The Color of Money, a sequel to The Hustler, opens to favorable reviews. The new film stars Paul Newman and Tom Cruise.
Willie Mosconi dies in Haddon Heights, New Jersey on Sept. 16.
Minnesota Fats dies on Jan. 18.