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An All-Too-Long History of Bowling.

by Scott Berk & Mark Simple

5200 B.C.
A primitive form of bowling is practiced by the ancient Egyptians.

200-300 A.D.
German monks introduce bowling to the masses as a religious ritual. Martin Luther standardizes the game, called "kegels," to nine pins.

Bowling greens appear in homes of wealthy European royalty.

The first enclosed bowling center is built in London.

Edward IV passes edict forbidding "hustling of stones" and other bowling-like sports.

Bowling centers closed because they were being used as places of "unlawful assembly."

Captain James Smith return to the colony in Jamestown, Virginia to find the colonists starving, but still happily bowling. The sport is quickly declared illegal and punishable by up to three weeks in the stocks.

The Dutch enjoy nine-pins in their New York colony.

King Charles of England, a compulsive gambler, standardizes bowling rules in order to even the odds.

Bowling alleys are almost always associated with taverns, and are growing in popularity in the states.

Nine-pin bowling banned due to associated gambling and crime. To get around the law, ten-pin bowling is invented and flourishes.

The American Bowling Congress is formed. That same year, King C. Gillette invents the safety razor, allowing thousands of bowlers to get that clean, comfortable shave they could only have dreamed of in the past.

Bowling's distant third cousin, Skee-Ball, invented and patented by J.D. Estes of Philadelphia.

Women's International Bowling Congress established in America.

World champion Jimmy Smith beaten in exhibition against local bowler Mrs. Floretta McCutcheon; the match paves way for the founding of the Mrs. McCutcheon School for Bowling Instructions.

With the advent of the automatic pinsetting machine, bowling starts to pick up mass appeal. An extensive P.R. campaign attempts to make bowling popular to the upper classes; Capezio introduces a line of bowling shoes with advertisements showing society ladies bowling.

Brunswick "Bowling Ped" icon created; screaming rush of teenagers storm Brunswick HQ; logo designers escape out back door.

Ed Lubanski from Detroit scores 700 pins for his five-men team in the ABC all-counts championship; later that year, Grock, the Swiss music clown, dies (b. 1880).

The number of alleys in the U.S. jumps from 6500 to over 10,000; neck size of bowling pins increased, adding 7/10 oz. to total average weight.

Americans spend $43.6 million on bowling balls.

Dick Weber wins his fourth open U.S. Bowling championship in five years.

The National Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum opens in St. Louis, Missouri. The $7 million complex contains four bowling lanes dating back to 1924 (human pinsetters; four frames for $3); Jim Webb breaks the bowling endurance record, toppling maples for a grueling 195 hours and 1 minute.

The A.B.C. estimates 50 million bowlers nation-wide; X Magazine comes out with fun-e bowling issue.