Why Are There Ten Pins in Tenpin
Now that's the kind of question we
like. After all, if things had shaped up differently, we
might be called Ninepin, Elevenpin or Twentythreepin. But
we're not. And here's why.
Rollin' back the years
Our journey begins back in the early nineteenth century.
In America, bowling had been adopted from Britain, but also
influenced from other European arrivals. There was a variance
of rules across the country, but generally it's accepted that the
game was played with nine pins.
But in the 1820s, things changed, mainly on the East
Coast. In 1829 the first reference to a ten-pin alley
appeared in the New York press. The game's popularity grew.
In 1840 the first indoor alley, Knickerbockers, opened in New York
City. It's format featured ten pins.
In search of the perfect pick-up?
Time moved on. As did the game, spreading its influence
and appeal at an impressive rate. By the mid-1930s, ten-pin
bowling was a staple of American lifestyle. In 1936, the
semiautomatic pin-spotter was launched. The
equilateral-triangle shape of the layout was perfect for
Following World War II, bowling's popularity surged across the
world, influenced mostly by American soldiers playing the game in
foreign lands. Technology advanced with ten pins at the heart
of this shiny new game.
The future was set and ten pins as a playing.