Bowling lanes are conditioned by hand: by spraying oil onto the lanes and then using a rotary buffer.
Bowl-O-Drome Lanes in Mount Clemens, Michigan is the first to install commercially produced pin setting machines. As more lanes follow, participation soars.
On the 1952 premiere episode of The Honeymooners, Ralph Kramden gets his new bowling ball stuck on his thumb.
In 1952, Championship Bowling launches in Chicago, featuring sportscaster “Whispering” Joe Wilson. Twenty-four bowlers compete on the television program, with the final three bowling in a round robin match to determine the champion.
Originally conceived as a more colorful ball option, plastic bowling balls actually prove to be better for the game in 1955, providing more friction than rubber and resulting in more hook and pin action.
Johnny Ancil “Peanuts” Wilson, a member of the musical group the Teen Kings with Roy Orbison, releases “Cast Iron Arm,” a song about a bowler who gets angry when another bowler “makes a play” for his girl.
Eddie Elias, an Akron, Ohio attorney, starts the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) in 1958, with 33 founding members and 100 charter members.
The PBA Tour begins in 1959 with three tournaments worth $49,500.