The rise to prominence of billiards in 19th century Australia has been widely acknowledged as due largely to one man: Henry Upton Alcock. Born in Dublin in 1823, he set sail for Port Phillip in the Colony of Victoria, in October 1852, on the ship “Africa”. He arrived in Melbourne in April 1853, and set up business building billiard tables in Fitzroy with four workmen. Alcock managed to gradually build this tiny enterprise until it became one of Melbourne’s most substantial businesses in the latter period of the 19th century with branches in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, and Wellington, New Zealand, plus an agency in Tasmania. He developed a reputation for the quality of Alcock billiard tables throughout the English speaking world.
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