A League of Ordinary Gentlemen

Bowling Through The Decades

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Bowling Through The Decades

1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Exterior daytime image of a large free-standing 1960s bowling alley sign: a mix of neon and regular signage, with large letters spelling BOWL at the top, a big yellow boomarang shaped arrow, and smaller square and rectangular signs touting: 40 Brunswick Lanes, Cocktail Lounge, Billiards and Bumper Bowling for Kids

On the surface, the sport of bowling—sending a heavy ball speeding toward rows of wooden pins—has remained more or less constant through the years. The same cannot be said of the culture surrounding the sport. Bowling’s reputation, and its status in the pantheon of American sports, has endured its share of ups and downs.

From hand-oiled lanes to multi-million-dollared pros, from celebrity matches to bowling kitsch, track America’s favorite sport and its changing roles and status from the 1940s to today.

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