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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Billiard Room: 1908

The Billiard Room: 1908

Lake George, New York, circa 1908. "Billiard room, Fort William Henry Hotel." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Keeping Score

The beads on the wire are used to keep score in straight pool or 14.1 continuous pocket billiards, the standard game of the day and the most popular game in America up until about 40 years ago. My grandfather had the same such counters hung up in his basement over his pool table. You still see some straight pool played in serious billiard halls, but it has long yielded to nine ball in popularity.

The Mancave.

Today I suppose it'd have curtains with a Nascar theme and lights over the tables advertising some beer or another.


Just as I say it takes judgement, brains and maturity to score in a Balke line game, I say that any boob can take and shove a ball in a pocket.

Billiards vs. Pool

Some people may not recognize the billiard table in the rear of the photo. It lacks the pockets of its cousin, the pool table.

In two delicious flavors!

With pockets, or without.

Not enough room.

A great shot of lovely tables. But this seems to be an afterthought by the hotel. The intrusive column on the right of the pool table would prevent any serious play. Otherwise well equipped, the adaption of a spare corridor was not well thought out.


It looks very tight. The space doesn't look like it was planned as a Billiard Room from the beginning. Awkward.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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