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Brownswick

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Reply with quote  #1 
This might be of particular interest to anyone who lives (or lived) in Shreveport, Louisiana.
 
An oldie but goodie. From 1981:
 
A buddy of mine, Dennis Harbour, who lived in Shreveport, came to visit a mutual friend of ours in Dallas/Fort Worth one day. That's where I lived for 25 years. Well, I had taken the video camera out to the bowl that day to shoot some footage of my 8-year-old son bowling, and Dennis came to join us.
 
This is a three-game match that Dennis and I bowled together, just for fun. (We join as the first game is already in progress.)
 
Dennis is in the Louisiana USBC Hall of Fame, where he was enshrined posthumously in the early '90s after being killed by a gunshot wound to the head at the hand of a methed-out trucker that he knew and was supposed to be going on a long haul with.
 
As you'll see, Dennis was twice the bowler I was, even though I was a PBA member at the time. If he and I bowled a hundred games together, I would tell you to bet on him and you'd probably win 99 times. But for whatever reason, on this particular day, I managed to stay close with him throughout our match, and it came down to the very last ball.
 
Video quality is so-so on this. Back in 1981, cameras needed more light than the modern ones do today. Since the approaches were not well-lit, we kinda look like ghosts or silhouettes. And this is long before high definition television, so it's good ol' 640 x 480 resolution. Not great. But given Dennis' early demise, I'm just glad I found this.
 
Recorded at Golden Triangle Lanes in Irving, TX.
 

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themrfreeze

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Reply with quote  #2 
Very cool to still have something like this, and very sad to hear what eventually happened to Dennis. 

It's interesting to see those old Brunswick automatic scoring systems in use...how the rack stays down until the last bowler throws their last ball, then it finishes re-racking.

Brownswick

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Reply with quote  #3 

Actually, the way they worked was this:

When the table descended to set a fresh rack of ten pins, it would stop in the down position.

Meanwhile, sticking up from the middle of the ball return was a console.  This console had 13 positions on it from top to bottom.  The top six positions represented the six players you could have listed on the left lane, 1 thru 6, on the scoresheet.  The bottom six positions represented the six players you could have listed on the right lane, 1 thru 6, on the scoresheet.  Then there was also a practice position in the middle.

Before the pinsetter table would raise, you'd first have to press the button on the slider, either on the left side of the console (for when you're bowling on the left lane) or on the right side of the console (for when you're bowling on the right lane).  You'd press the button down and hold it while sliding the thing into the position where your name was on the scoresheet.  So if I was the #2 bowler on the left lane, I'd take the lever on the lane I was about to bowl on and slide it up to the top #2 position (the top group was for the bowlers listed on the left lane).  When I let go, the slider would lock into position and the pinsetter table would raise, revealing the fresh set of pins.

After that, everything worked pretty much the way you'd expect a Brunswick A2 pinsetter to work, with one exception:  Following the second ball in a frame, the table would descend, just as it would after the first ball.  But this time, it wouldn't pick up any remaining pins.  But it would COUNT the number of pins left standing.  This is how the pin count got relayed to the scoring system.

The actual projectors which shot the image of the scoresheets up to the screens above the approaches were 4 wide.  In other words, each one handled the scoring for 4 lanes and were positioned behind the bowlers' settee area.  These huge projectors each had four printers, one for each lane.  You'd slip the little scoresheets in.  There were tractor holes on either side of the paper, which was a little smaller than a recap sheet, and had a coating of wax on the back.  So when the printer hammered the letters/numbers on to the scoresheets, the wax would stick to the glass, creating the image of the numbers on screen.  You'd have to use a kleenex and some cleaning solution to wipe the glass clean after each game of league, or after all the scoresheet lines were full during open play.

It was a pretty slick system for its time.  The ones seen in this video at Golden Triangle Lanes in Irving, TX were installed this way.  Golden Triangle was the sister house of Forum Bowl in Grand Prairie, TX about 10 miles away.  Forum Bowl played host for many years to the PBA's Quaker State Open (it was the house with the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling all throughout the center -- they're gone now, although Forum Bowl is still very much open and successful, and was one of the host centers to last summer's Junior Gold Championships).  And Golden Triangle Lanes played host to the second Great and Greatest Tournament, which basically was the pilot for what would become the Senior Tour.  Anyway, these Brunswick Astroline scoring systems were installed when the two centers were built, both in the early '70s.  Other centers around the country had their pinsetters retrofitted by Brunswick to work with these systems.  But they were originally installed this way at Forum Bowl and Golden Triangle Lanes.

AMF's MagicScore system would follow a few years later.  That was the first paperless system.  Stashed away somewhere around here, I probably still have some old scoresheets from this Brunswick Astroline Scoring System.


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mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hartfield Lanes, where I grew up bowling, had those too.  To correct a score was a major pain in the ass.  I have some of my old scoresheets still from the Astroline system too.  

I believe Hartfield removed the Astroline scorers around 1981ish....went to manual scoring, and then the brunwisck auto scorers came in around 1990 there.
CObowler

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Reply with quote  #5 
That old 1981-ish automatic scorer sounds complicated and frustrating from a user perspective.

In the places where I bowled, we used the traditional yellow wax pencil on transparent plastic until about 1990.  Automatic scoring technology after that time was simple to use, once you learned which buttons to push -- and in what order!  Then and now, picture icons are not as clear as written instructions. 

I suppose it means you are OLD when you still prefer real words to images and apps. 
mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #6 
Nothing beats the classic way of keeping score for bowling.  What I miss is when we would lose by a mark....you do the math of the other teams's score or your own, and find a mistake which would turn the tables for the winner of the game!
Max49

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Reply with quote  #7 
What a great bowling match. Too bad it was'nt televised.   

You guys really need to practice showing some emotion tho.[biggrin]

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Reply with quote  #8 
When we used the yellow crayons and clear plastic sheets I hated it.  Usually the Capt. kept score.  The team on the right had the ST 15 frames and the team on the right had the last.  In both situations the score keeper had no time to get a sip or two of beer.  You had to be careful not to burn you arm or hand on the scorer.  It was hard to see sleepers everyone else was having a good time drinking and talking while you sat alone.  Then the had the balls to complain about the price going up a dime for the new scorers.  Bite your lip and keep your hands in your pockets.  Best thing ever was automatic scorers.  Not a fan of reactive balls, liked the old urethane.
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