New Technology

The original pin setters in bowling alleys were hand operated by a paid work force.  Usually the workforce was male and they would be at the end of each ally to clear the pins and reset them.

I often wondered how safe it was since sometimes the bowling pins could really fly.  The pin setters also had to send the bowling ball back to the head of the alley.

I set up the electrical work for the first automatic bowling alley pin setter in Havre, Montana (way back when).  It saved the bowling alley money as they no longer had to hire pin setters.  That bowling alley was all the rage in Havre.  Of course for a long time, it was the only bowling alley in Havre.

Then one day we were called back because the bowling alley was getting all new pin setting machines.  They set the old machines outside in the sun, rain and snow.  I asked the proprietor if the setters shouldn’t be protected from the weather.  He told me it was the machine owner’s responsibility.

Thereafter I got the whole story.

The proprietor had signed a contract with the machine manufacturing company.  They would supply the machines, install them and maintain them.  The proprietor would pay a monthly fee.  However, half of the time the machines were broken down.

Finally the bowling alley proprietor told the pin setting Machine Company that he was going to take them out and install a different brand.  He told them he was going to sit the old machines outside for them to pick up.

Apparently the new machines worked much better because in the thirteen years I lived and worked in Havre I never heard of any more trouble.

Other technology that has intrigued me includes bicycles.  The first bicycles were made entirely out of wood.  And they had no brakes.  The pedals were fastened directly to the driving wheel.

The first motorcycle was built by fastening a motor onto a bicycle.

That must have been a lot of fun.

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