Why are those balls lined up on top of the rail?

erdnase

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I saw this 1905 photo of men playing pool in Minneapolis, and noticed on the first two tables they have balls sitting in a line on top of the rail at the foot of the table. Seems like a very awkward place to have them. Anybody know about why this was done and what they are playing? (It looks like there are already 14 balls sitting on the rail in the foreground with two more object balls on the table.)
 
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