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Bowling: About


History of Bowling

The modern sport of bowling at pins probably originated in ancient Germany, not as a sport but as a religious ceremony. As early as the 3rd or 4th century AD, in rites held in the cloisters of churches, parishioners may have placed their ever-present club, or Kegel (the implement most Germans carried for sport and, certainly, self-protection), at one end of a runway resembling a modern bowling lane. The Kegel was said to represent the Heide (“heathen”). A stone was rolled at the Heide, and those successfully toppling it were believed to have cleansed themselves of sin. Although the peasants’ club evolved into pins, the association remained, and even today bowlers are often called keglers. [...]

There is confusion about how and when bowling at pins came to North America, arising from the inconsistent use of the terms bowl, bowler, and bowling. The early British settlers brought lawn bowls with them to America because that was the game they knew best. Dutch explorers under Henry Hudson were said to have brought some form of pin bowling. [...]

On Sept. 9, 1895, the American Bowling Congress (ABC) was organized in New York City. Rules and equipment standards were developed, and the game as it finally was organized remained basically unchanged as the sport grew steadily. Continue reading from Britannica

Watch Bowling Videos

From the Collection

Link to The Essentials of Bowling by Steven Felege, Second Edition, in Hoopla
Link to Bowling Across America by Mike Walsh in Hoopla
Link to Pin Action by Gianmarc Manzione in Hoopla
Link to New England Candlepin Bowling by Susan Mara Bregman in Hoopla
Link to Milwaukee's Historic Bowling Alleys by Manya Kaczkowski in Hoopla