Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PHELAN, Michael, billiard-player, born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1816; died in New York city, 21 October, 1871. He came to this country at an early age, apprenticed himself to a silversmith and jeweler, and during his leisure hours played billiards until he became an expert. In 1851 he gave exhibitions in Ireland for the benefit of the suffering poor. On his return he opened rooms on Broadway, New York city, subsequently removed to San Francisco, California, and, after a series of unfortunate speculations, re-established himself in New York and became a manufacturer of billiard-tables with Hugh W. Collender. The game was introduced into private houses through improved applications of his manufacture. He took an active part in many billiard contests, and was uniformly successful. His death was the result of injuries that he received in attempting to rescue his grandson from drowning. He published " Rules for the Government of the Game of Billiards" (New York, 1850).
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