The Day by Day History of the
Bowling Great Don Carter Was Born
July 29, 1926
Do you like to bowl? Don Carter, born in St.
Louis, Missouri, on July 29, 1926, loved the sport. He became
one of the greatest bowlers of all time. Carter's fascination
with bowling started when he was a child. He had a job as a
pin-setter, resetting the 10 pins by hand before there were
machines to do so. He went on to dominate the professional sport
in its heyday. In 1961, Carter became the first bowler to win
the All-Star, World's Invitational, Professional Bowlers
Association of America (PBA) national championship and American
Bowling Congress Masters tournaments in the same year. Where did
Carter's favorite sport come from?
Articles found in the
tomb of an Egyptian child buried about 3200 B.C. included nine
pieces of stone, to be set up as pins, toward which a stone
"ball" was rolled. Bowling has gone through many
transformations, but the sport has been around a long time. In
Britain, lawn bowling is a popular sport. Dutch explorers under
Henry Hudson may have brought pin bowling to America.
Bowling became a popular sport during colonial times. In early
games, the ball was often rolled down a wooden plank. Author
Washington Irving, in his short story "Rip Van Winkle," referred
to bowling in the U.S. as early as 1819-1820. However, the sport
lacked rules and equipment standards. At the end of the 19th
century, things quickly changed.
In 1895, bowlers in New
York City organized the American Bowling Congress (ABC) and set
down rules. In 1901 they started national tournaments. The
Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) formed in 1916.
Technological advances such as the introduction of the hard
rubber ball in 1905 and the development of the automatic
pin-setting machine in the early 1950s made bowling more popular
than ever. League bowling peaked in the mid-1960s, when Don
Carter was at the peak of his game. Then, many people were on
bowling teams and professional tournaments were broadcast on TV.
Today, an estimated 70 million people bowl several times a year
in the U.S., but the sport is not as popular as it once was.
Some say professional bowling will make a comeback as a
broadcast and spectator sport. What do you think?