When the game was first brought
indoors, and raised to table height - the bed was made of wood - and as will be
seen from the illustration "Billiards" (from
the School of Recreation 1710), a plain wooden rim without any form of
cushioning surrounded the table to prevent the balls from falling on the floor.
The tables were of lightweight construction - Maces were used to propel the
balls and the balls themselves were also originally made of wood - there were
no properly established rules and the dimensions of the Billiard Table itself -
the size of the balls and the pocket openings etc all varied. In this respect
it is interesting to note that an old book of rules in the possession of the
writer printed in 1779 allowed the player to use the point of the cue or the
butt of the cue!