History Of Spin What The Pro's Think

History Of Spin

Spin City

It was in the city of Bath in the south west of England around 1820 that a local man, John Carr, produced the first proprietary brand of cue chalk. He called it “Twisting Chalk”. Carr was a marker (scorekeeper) and an accomplished billiards player based at John Bartley’s Billiard Rooms in that city.

He found that not only did the chalk reduce the likelihood of a mis-cue but, that if the cue ball was struck to the right or left of centre, the spin thus imparted would affect the angle at which it rebounded off the cushion.

Carr attributed these strange new effects he was producing to his amazing “Twisting Chalk”.  He went on to employ the positive uses of this side spin, or ‘side,’ (or ‘English’ as it has become known in the USA) and was the first person to perfect the screw-shot. He introduced these shots into his game and declared himself the first-ever world champion of billiards. Soon, Carr’s chalk was in great demand as, for the first time, by using this chalk, billiards players all over the world were then able to make the cue ball spin like never before. They were also able to control the cue ball like never before and play shots not previously possible.

More Spin


The ability to put spin onto the cue ball went on to become an art form amongst some of the world’s greatest billiards and pool players. Spectacular shots like the Massé and the Swerve became part of the repertoire of all-time greats like Joe Davis and Minnesota Fats. When they set themselves up to play these shots, it caused great excitement among spectators. Even to this day, no shots are more likely to create greater excitement and expectancy than well played Massés and Swerves.

Spin Doctor

Uncanny as it may seem that, nearly 200 years later, from out of that very same city should come probably the most revolutionary spin-imparting device since chalk was invented – the Twister.

Alan James, cue sports fanatic and local pool league player based in Bath, came up with the original concept of a cue tip attachment, which would enable the player to put an incredible amount of extra spin on the cue ball never before possible with an ordinary cue tip.

This original idea was developed with the help of friends and soon it became a patentable concept.

Now, that original good idea has developed into an exciting, marketable product, the Twister, which is taking the cue sports world by storm and which is set to revolutionise the games of pool, snooker and carom. Inventor Alan James has become Bath’s modern day spin doctor.