A League of Ordinary Gentlemen

Bowling Through The Decades

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Bowling Through The Decades: The 1960s

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

L-R:
Four men pose in bowling shirts and pants, each with one foot on the ball return, bowling balls between them, elbows on their knees 

Two men bowl side-by-side in a futuristic looking bowling lane, each in a post-throw pose
Men bowlers, 1960 group photo
top photos courtesy Los Angeles Public Library

Bowling fashions are modeled by women at the 25th Annual College Clinic fashion show held at the Waldorf Astoria, sponsored by Mademoiselle.

The Lane Master, the first automatic lane cleaning and conditioning machine, hits the market.

Make That Spare, a 15-minute television show, is produced to fill gaps in the Friday Night Fights timeslot.

The Professional Women’s Bowling Association holds its inaugural event in Miami.

Cartoon character caveman Fred Flintstone, finger stuck in bowling ball, flies head first down the lane, bowling pins going everywhere
The Flintstones

Faded color photo of four women standing together holding bowling balls, two are wearing teased beehive hairstyles
Beehives and bowling balls


On the premiere episode of The Flintstones, Barney builds "The Barney Copter," which Fred renames "The Flintstone Flyer," and the boys use it to go bowling instead of to the opera with their wives.

The first televised showing of a PBA final is broadcast in 1961, showcasing the National PBA Invitational in Paramus, New Jersey.

Milton Berle’s Jackpot Bowling awards a bowler $75,000 for throwing six straight strikes. The program airs on NBC on Friday nights from 1959 until 1961.

The Navy installs a two-lane bowling alley at a research station in Antarctica.

In 1962, Pro Bowlers Tour, a live bowling telecast, premieres on ABC Sports as a lead-in to Wide World of Sports. The show, which made national sports heroes out of bowlers such as Dick Weber and Don Johnson, remained on the air until 1997.

Membership in the American Bowling Congress reaches its all-time high with just under 4.6 million sanctioned adult male League bowlers.

In a special event Operation AstroBowl, champion bowlers Sylvia Wene and Dick Weber bowl aboard a flight from New York to Dulles on a 707 equipped with AMF bowling lanes.

The biggest tournament in the history of bowling, the $100,000 Firestone Tournament of Champions, kicks off in 1965.

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