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There are many various materials used for manufacturing dominoes. Read below if you want to know the different domino manufacturing materials. It also includes a description of their history starting with the earliest used.

  • 12th-Century

The first Chinese dominoes in the 12th-century were hand-carved from animal bone. Ox bones were usually used. North China called these Gwat Pai or bone tiles. Chinese domino sets known as Ngaa Pai or ivory tiles were usually made for a more discerning game. These were for the wealthier people and made from ivory.

  • 18th-Century

The first Western dominoes appeared in Europe during the 18th-century. They used animal bones to make the dominoes. Ivory was sometimes used for wealthier players. Domino pieces were also called ‘bones’ because of this. They drilled shallow holes into the bone to make the black spots. The holes were then inlaid with pieces of thin ebony.

French prisoners-of-war made the first dominoes that appeared in the United Kingdom. They made them from sheep and cow bones leftover from their rations. They sell them to supplement their very low allowances. Other sets were later made by sailors. They do that to pass the time while on a long voyage.

Craftsmen used vegetable ivory or ivory nut for over two hundred years and continue to do so. They use it to make dice, dominoes, and chess pieces. The ivory nut is very hard and close-grained. It has a structure and color like that of mammal ivory. But is a bit softer. Their grains are also similar.

  • 19th-Century

European dominoes were still manufactured from bone by the mid-19th-century. The difference was that they glued back the ebony wood back fixed to the bone. A brass pin or spinner held it through the center of the tile. A lack of suitable thick pieces of animal bone brought this development. The ebony layer strengthened the tile. This made dominoes possible to stand on their edges.

The Frenchman Charles Lepage invented the first plastic called Bois Durci in 1855. He used ebony or rosewood sawdust mixed with albumen. He took this from eggs or sometimes blood. He mixed the sawdust and soaked in a mixture of the albumen and water. He then dried it. And subjected to intense heat and pressure in a hydraulic press.

The next man-made plastic material came in 1856. It was Parkesine before and now Xylonite or Celluloid. Parkes in Birmingham was a company that manufactured that. They used it to make dominoes for a while. They stopped due to the fact that it was inflammable.

Cheap dominoes made from tinplate came in the late 19th-century. These were then distributed to pubs and inns by tobacco companies. It was usually free or sometimes for a very small fee.

You can check out domino sets and see for yourself which material is best for you. If you cannot decide which domino to use, you can try playing adu qq instead. You no longer need to worry about your tiles falling off your hand.