Great Dane - Billiards History
Copyright © 2009 Linda Apple
"Mr. Thomas Tudor"
8"x10"-oil on canvas
Mr. Thomas "Tonka" Tudor – 1855 – 1925
Born in England 1855, he immigrated with his parents from England in 1865. His father
was a German trader but it was his Irish mother that stirred his first interest in billiards
with her connection to a wealthy English family.
Thomas’s first job was a janitor in a small establishment that catered to drink and billiards.
He was known to be very intelligent but also extremely clumsy and awkward. So, it came
as quite a surprise that he developed such outstanding skills in billiards.
Although he was only a janitor, he was quick to make friends that listened to his innovative ideas.
At some point, for unknown reasons, during the years of developing his playing skills, he gained
the nickname of “Tonka”.
Eventually, he assisted in developing new table and cushion designs, wrote endless articles
and later a book that was influential in setting standards and rules for the game.
This is an image of him after winning $15,000 in a match in Detroit in 1876.
Since the early 1800’s, Billiards was said to be played by royalty and other nobles and therefore
dubbed -The “Noble Game of Billiards” but the information in this account is evidence
that people from all walks of life also played the game.
This was a commissioned piece by one of my clever subscribers who
loves the Appletree Hollow people and wanted her sister's dog to be a village resident.
All I knew about him was that he is awkward,clumsy,very intelligent and WELL LOVED!!
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