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François Mingaud

French billiards player

Died when: 76 years 353 days (923 months)
Star Sign: Capricorn


François Mingaud

Captain François Mingaud (sometimes spelled Mingot, Mengaud or Minguad, and often referred to simply as M.Mingaud; born 4 January 1771 Le Cailar, Nîmes, France, died 23 December 1847, Rotterdam, Netherlands) was an infantry officer in the French army and a carom billiards player.

He is credited as the inventor of the leather tip for a billiards cue, a "possibly not original idea" that he perfected while imprisoned in Bicêtre (now Bicêtre Hospital) for political outspokenness.

This revolutionized the game of billiards, allowing the cue ball to be finely manipulated by the application of spin.In 1807 he was released from prison and began to demonstrate his invention and spin technique in Paris.

Part of his showmanship involved feigning extreme horror as the cue ball recoiled towards him after striking the object ball, and then persuading the audience that the balls should be seized and condemned because they were "tormented by a devil".

Mingaud is also credited with the discovery that by raising the cue vertically he could perform what is now known as a massé shot.

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