bowling – in 1957
Sports in the 1950s
With the advent of automatic pinsetters and more-predictable wood oils, bowling became a game that was fun, accessible to all, and fairly easy to master. It was not surprising then that champions came from common origins. A truly middle-class sport for middle-class people, bowling was, in its own way, the greatest success story of the decade.
Bowling has a long and rich history, and today is one of the most popular sports in the world. A British anthropologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, discovered in the 1930’s a collection of objects in a child’s grave in Egypt that appeared to him to be used for a crude form of bowling. If he was correct, then bowling traces its ancestry to 3200 BC.
A German historian, William Pehle, asserted that bowling began in his country about 300 AD. There is substantial evidence that a form of bowling was in vogue in England in 1366, when King Edward III allegedly outlawed it to keep his troops focused on archery practice. And it is almost certain that bowling was popular during the reign of Henry VIII.