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Hot Rivalries: 1942

Hot Rivalries: 1942

January 1942. Bantam, Connecticut. "In the basement of the town firehouse is the bowling alley, revenue from which helps to support the town's volunteer fire companies. Each night is alloted to a specific group, and there are several hot rivalries. Among the women shown here is Mrs. Winfield Peterson, whose husband is foreman of the Warren McArthur experimental shop." View full size. 5x7 nitrate negative by Howard R. Hollem for the Office of Emergency Management.


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Virginia is for lovers.......

....of duckpin bowling as well. I grew up in the Hampton Roads area of southeastern Virginia, from the late 50s until I left in 1977 with my new husband of just one year (of marriage, not age, before anyone else comments), right after he got out of the Air Force, having been stationed at Langley AFB for his entire enlistment.

Duckpin bowling was a major force in bowling competition when I was a little girl, and my dad taught me how to bowl in duckpins because the smaller duckpin balls were/are easier to handle by smaller children's hands. I got pretty good at it too. Adult leagues were going strong then, and it was amazing to me to watch the men in the men's and mixed leagues fire those little balls down the alleys like rifle shot at the short, squatty pins waiting at the other end!

It was still quite popular when I left the area for the "Great Midwaste" in 1977, to accompany my husband to his home territory. I haven't heard anything to the contrary since then about it still being quite popular.

Re: Connecticut

Connecticut is a lingering stronghold of duckpin bowling. This appears to be that game.

Interesting sheen

on Mrs. Peterson's leading leg, perhaps indicating nylon rationing had not yet made its way to her neighborhood. Or, maybe, she had been saving a pair for special times: like this one!

[Or they might be cotton stockings, a nylon substitute that was the subject of about a dozen OWI photos. - Dave]

Bowling Dress

I thought it was interesting that every one of these women was bowling in a skirt or dress. How things have changed! Already by my childhood 25 years later, all these women would have been wearing pants.

Also five-pin

That's also the size of the ball in five-pin bowling, but that game is exclusively Canadian.

Duckpins or candlepins

From the size of the balls I'd guess they're engaging in duckpin or candlepin bowling. These types of bowling use relatively small balls without finger holes.

Ball size

The bowling balls pictured seem smaller than today's?

[Those are duckpin balls. No holes. - Dave]

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