North American Bowling News

The Progression of Tenpin Bowling

The Good Old Days

The early days of bowling

Ah, the early days of bowling. A simpler time, and a tougher time—for everybody. In this photo, circa 1908, we see the bare bones aspect of bowling, with pin boys, and undoubtedly pins and balls that weren't under the rigid restrictions nor the technological advancements that have abounded in today's game of bowling. People made the best with what they had to work with—in all phases of life. And when it came to bowling, they were happy, because it was something fun to do without an over-abundance of activities from which to choose for recreation.


The transition period of the mid-1970s

Moving forward ... here we have a bowling center from 1977, River Bowl in Bethesda, Maryland—a 48-lane house that can be considered a transition era center. This bowling alley was one of Brunswick’s premier centers in the Washington Metro area. The lanes were obviously wood, and although pinsetters were automatic, there was no elec-tronic scorekeeping. Now closed and a thing of the past, River Bowl was a mecca for many, many players in the Maryland and DC areas—always well-kept and spotless, and exhibiting a tasteful color scheme throughout the entire center.

Back to the Present

Present day

As one would expect...a stark contrast from a hundred years prior. Modernized settings and equipment to complement today’s life-styles and technology. Shown here, a bowling center with ‘up-to-date everything’. An interesting innovation nowadays is the implementation of ‘big screen masking units’, available from the Murrey Company. Electronic drop-down movie screens, with widths from 8 to 10 feet, allow for the broadcast of television events, bowling videos on DVD, bowler scores, and even live video of birthday parties, via use of a web cam.

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