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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Gutterball U.: 1910

Gutterball U.: 1910

September 1910. Burlington, Vermont. "Two of the 'pin boys' working in Bowling Academy with three other small boys until 10 or 11 p.m. some nights." One of our astute commenters noticed this place just two doors over from the hotel seen here, and made the connection to Lewis Hine, who took this photo, as well as the pictures of's namesake coal miner. View full size.

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The Last Chance

If memory serves, this building would later be demolished and rebuilt. The downstairs lanes would remain for several years and in later years it would eventually become a well-known bar in the '70s, '80s and early '90s called the Last Chance Saloon. The wooden bar itself was made of the old lanes from this bowling alley. I spent many, many nights in there during my college years. It was a terrific place. It's now home to The Flynn Space.

Fun at the alley

I remember a few evenings setting pins, hard way to make a buck.

My other brother Darryl

When I was a child, bowling alleys were considered sleazy, kind of like the pool hall. In fact, there was a pool hall located inside our local bowling alley. This photo explains quite a lot. Those boys look miserable, and my guess is that Mr. Warmth, standing behind them, has something to do with that.

Astute commenter responds

"I'd like to thank the (Bowling) Academy ... "

More like dodgeball

My father was a pin boy in the 1030s and told stories about how the "hoodlums" would not wait until all the pins were set and throw their bowling ball and try to hit my father before he got out of the way.

On the other end of the lane, the first game he ever bowled he scored a 230 and thought "this is easy," then the second game was humbling and he scored a 110.

I never managed to break 200 on a good day.

Bowling "Pins"

Seeing this picture of pre-modern bowling pins helps solve the riddle of where the name "pin" originated. The type of pins in this picture are called candle-pins and still in use in some areas of Canada and New England. The type pin we're used to seeing today with the oval bottoms and small oval tops are called duck-pins.

Bocce ball

It looks like they are holding candlestick pins. The bowling ball is about the size of a softball, and is popular in New England.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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