View Full Version : Facts Of Bowling Pin History

05-23-2008, 09:53 PM
The history of bowling dates back thousands of years. It is believed by many that a passion for hitting a bowling pin with an object actually struck humanity sometime in the Stone Age. This passion has never gone away, as evidenced by the worldwide popularity of the sport.

As man evolved, so too did the game and its trademark bowling pin design. Whereas the first pins likely were made of stone or another crude material, the pins of today have come a long way. Modern pins are precise creations typically made of wood. Each one is uniform in design specification down to the thickness of the necks and the height they stand.

The history of bowling marched forward from the Stone Age into actual royal courts. The first mention of the game in written history involves English King Edward III who, in 1366, actually banned the game to force his soldiers to focus more on their archery practice. From Edward's court, the game moved on to the time of King Henry VIII. It was in Henry's time the game became one enjoyed greatly by nobility.

In Colonial America, the game made an appearance and was often associated with gambling. The bowling pin count in this earlier form of the game involved nine pins, rather than the 10 of today.

The game enjoyed widespread popularity that stuck following the invention of the automatic bowling pin spotter in the 1940s. This little creation revolutionized the game and made it much easier for frames to be reset. The game has become so popular, in fact, that bowling pin set ups can now be found in almost every country in the world, with an estimated 95 million fans across the globe.

The standard bowling pin of today has come a long way, as well. Rather than stone or crude wood, a typical American bowling pin is made out of fine maple wood. This type of pin is created using a lathe to form the shape. Once this is done, the wood is coated with plastic and then covered with gloss. The idea is to create a uniform set up that is fairly standard from alley to alley.

The American bowling pin is a pretty strict creation. The standards set by the American Bowling Congress call for very stringent specifications. A standard bowling pin stands precisely 15 inches in height and is not more than 4.75 inches wide at its fattest point. They weigh in at less than four pounds a piece.

Although the standard American bowling pin is what is found in most alleys, there are other options out there in pins. The games played with them are a bit different, but they still revolve around the same concept of bowling to knock them down. Other types of pins used in bowling games include the candlepin, the duckpin and the set up for five-pins.

Bowling is a sport that has been enjoyed by people through the ages. From the days before recorded history to the modern, computerized alleys of today, the heart of the game has always involved a bowling pin in one form or fashion.

05-23-2008, 09:56 PM
Bowling Pins - Ten Up, Ten Down!

Bowling pins are an essential element of any game of bowling. The pins are designed to stand on a mid length base, that widens at the middle before tapering off to a round point on top. To some extent, bowling pins look very much like a distorted hourglass. Ten pins are set up at the end of the lane, and then a bowling ball is used to try and knock them all down. Hit all ten with one shot, and that's a strike—and unlike baseball a strike in bowling is a very good thing.

The bowling pins are set at the end of a polished hardwood, or nowadays maybe a floor made of synthetic materials designed to look like wood. The American Bowling Congress (also known as ABC, for short) is the governing body that oversees the sport and gives all the specific rules and regulations involving lanes, balls, and pins. Currently, the American Bowling congress allows more than one type of material for making bowling pins, but pins have to weigh between 1.53 and 1.64 kilograms, which translates to between 3 1/3 and 3 2/3 pounds. The bowling pins do always have to be the exact same height and shape. Each bowling pin must be exactly 38.1 cm tall. All pins have a narrow neck that widens back up towards the top, giving bowling pins their unique and distinctive shape. This is also dictated by ABC standards, since the widest part of the pin is supposed to be exactly 12 cm (and is, appropriately enough, called "the belly") and the very base of the pin has a diameter of 5.7 cm. The reason for this is that this design will cause a pin to fall over if it is tilted ten degrees or more.

While bowling pins used to be made out of wood, most bowling pins are now made of various combinations of plastics and synthetics. Machines allow the material to be heated to super hot temperatures, then molded into the perfect shape. For those bowling pins still made the old fashion way, the preferred choice is to use maple wood. The reason for this is that maple tends to be one of the hardest woods, but it also has a durability that many other woods don’t. A wooden bowling pin isn’t even actually one piece of wood, but several small blocks that are glued together, cut, shaped, smoothed, laminated and molded. Even with wooden bowling pins, the outside will be covered with a thin layer of plastic, which will then be covered with a thin and special protective layering to increase the life of the pins. The reason most bowling pins are plastic now is because the supply of wood is finite and limited, and the demand for bowling pins is often far greater than what wood could supply. The pins in the ABC bowling championship are known for their distinctive gold color, and are slightly heavier than the normal bowling pins.

Bowling pins have also been used by artists to express art work on a smooth finished surface, so even outside of the bowling alley bowling pins have found their share of friends!

05-23-2008, 10:20 PM
In 1930 the British anthropologist Sir Flinders Petrie and his team of archaeologists discovered all sorts of primitive bowling balls, bowling pins and other materials in the grave of an Egyptian boy from 3200 BC. It appears that the ancient Egyptians played a primitive form of bowling and that bowling is more than 5200 years old.
The German historicist William Pehle claimed that in 200 BC an ancient form of bowling was played in his home country. In Germany of that time a form of bowling was played during festivals, where stones were thrown at nine wooden sticks, which were called 'kegles'. Due to this fact bowlers in Germany are also known as 'keglers'.
In England bowling first appeared around 1100. Hard evidence of bowling was found in the year 1366. In this year King Edward III forbid his troops to play bowling, so that they would spend more time on the practice of arching. During the regime of King Henry VIII bowling became a popular sport amongst the British population.
In that same period a similar type of bowling was played in the Netherlands and it were the Dutch settlers who introduced the first forms of bowling, which was called 'Dutch pins', in America during the 16th century. In Manhattan the place where the Dutch played this form of bowling is sometimes still referred by as the 'Bowling Green'.
Other alternative forms of bowling were also played in this period of time. The most extreme form could be found in Scotland. Here the player threw a ball with no holes between his legs towards the pins and after he had released the ball the player would slide towards the pins on his belly. Other related forms of bowling are 'Bocce' from Italy, 'Petanque' from France and 'Lawn Bowling' from England.

05-23-2008, 10:21 PM
The first notice of bowling, which was introduced in the United States by settlers from Europe, in important American literature was made by the famous writer Jonathan Swift when he wrote that Washington Irving woke up due to the sound of 'crashing ninepins'.
The first permanent location where bowling used to be played was in the New York 'Battery', which first had been in Dutch hands and after them in English hands. The sport used to be called 'Bowl on the Green' because of the lawn bowling. This area of Manhattan is now the center of the financial world, but is sometimes still referred as the 'Bowling Green' by the New Yorkers.
Ninepin bowling became very popular in the United States, but eventually it got a setback. Ninepin bowling attracted a lot of gamblers and they gave bowling a bad name. Because of the gambling a law in Connecticut got approved in 1841 that prohibited people to own ninepin bowling lanes. But people simply got around this law by putting an extra bowling pin on the deck and this meant the start of tenpin bowling.
It is still unknown where tenpin bowling first started, but we do know that by the end of the 19th century tenpin bowling was played in many states such as New York, Illinois and Ohio. But back then there were no general rules for the sport. The weight and size of balls, pins and lanes differed from state to state.

05-23-2008, 10:21 PM
But this all changed when restaurateur Joe Thumb organised a meeting between representatives from different regional clubs in 1895. On 9 September 1895 the American Bowling Congress (ABC) was founded at the Beethoven Hall in New York. Soon the ABC issued general rules and people became able to start national competitions and tournaments. The number of non-standardised leagues, which didn't used the general rules, decreased rapidly.
The ABC was only meant for male bowlers, although women were playing bowling since the second half of the 19th century. Women had to wait until 1917 (in the same period as the up come of feminism) that women got their own congress. In that year the Women International Bowling Congress was founded in St. Louis. Women from all over the United States decided, with the support of proprietor Dennis Sweeney, to also compete in national competitions and tournaments.

05-23-2008, 10:22 PM
At the beginning of the 20th century technology used in bowling took a giant step forward. Before this time bowling balls were made of a hard type of wood, called 'lignum vitae'. In 1905 the first rubber bowling ball, named the 'Evertrue', was showed to the public. Nine years later (1914) the Brunswick Corporation, which then was a manufacturer of billiards, released the first Mineralite Ball on the market, which became a huge success due to its mysterious rubber compound.
Because of this technological breakthrough bowling had an enormous growth in standardisation and it also meant the growth of different organisations. It was however another technological breakthrough that led to an even bigger growth of bowling. This was the introduction of the automatic pinsetter. Morehead Patterson, vice-president of the American Machine and Foundry company (AMF, back then a manufacturer of machines for the bakery, tobacco and apparel businesses), bought the patents for this machine from Gottfried Schmidt, who invented it in his garage in 1936.

The pinsetter was first showed to the public at the ABC National Championships in Buffalo in 1946. It lasted another five years (1951) before the machine was placed for the first time, which happened in Michigan, and in 1952 the machines were taken into production. The 'pin boys', who used to set up the pins again, were replaced by higher educated and better paid mechanics who could run the bowling lanes for hours without any problems.
In the 1950's television began to experiment with bowling and not without success. The popularity of bowling grew enormous. The first broadcast of a bowling match was made by NBC about 'Championship Bowling'. Beside this coverage other bowling shows appeared on television, such as 'Make That Spare', 'Celebrity Bowling' and 'Bowling For Dollars'.
Eddie Elias, an successful promoter, agent and entrepreneur, founded the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) in 1958 with 33 members. The PBA was founded to give the advanced bowler the chance to become a pro and to give bowling the status of a grant sport. More than 3500 bowlers are nowadays a member of the PBA. It was later joined by the Ladies Professional Bowling Tour (now the Professional Women Bowling Association, PWBA), a pro tour for women. In 1961 ABC was the first network to broadcast the Pro Bowlers Tour. Because of excellent marketing the Pro Bowlers Tour became a popular part of ABC's sports broadcasting. This was viewed by millions of Americans and they became very interested in bowling.
Today the sport of bowling is played by over 100 million people in more than 90 different countries. This number just seems to be growing and growing. There is an active lobby for bowling as an Olympic sport by the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ), the world governing body for the sport of tenpin and ninepin bowling, and top athletes regularly compete in worldwide competitions and tournaments.

05-31-2008, 02:52 PM
in anchent bowling dint the blow with ded people s heads and use there legs as pins .....

05-31-2008, 02:54 PM
i heard the the cave people use to bolw to with dino egg and the pins were some sticks :eek: