Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution)
Hyatt, John Wesley inventor
8 cu. ft.: 25 boxes
Ledgers (account books)
The Albany Billiard Ball Company is possibly the earliest successful plastics firm and certainly one of the oldest plastics companies in the world. The business was started in 1868 on Albany's South End. At present the company is the only major billiard ball firm in the United States (renamed in September, 1977 the Albany-Hyatt Billiard Ball Company). John Wesley Hyatt was one of the company's founders and the American inventor of celluloid. Celluloid, besides being the base of photographic film, was a substitute for ivory, long the prime substance in billiard ball manufacture. The Hyatt "composition" ball, with a celluloid base, dominated the sport until the 1960s.
These records include documents relating to Hyatt; legal documents, 1871-1966; bank books; patents; patent certificates; patent assignments; memoranda and articles of association; union contracts; balance sheets; profit and loss accounts; journals and cashbooks; ledgers; time books; invoices; photographs; and correspondence to and from the company, 1870-1974.
Albany Billiard Ball Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History