The String Machine Game Changer

White Paper 1 of 2: String Machine Adoption in the Bowling Industry

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Game-Changer: String Machine Adoption in the Bowling Industry

When most people go out for a night of bowling fun they don’t think about how the pins are picked up and put down. But the modern sport of bowling would be far different (and far less enjoyable) if not for essential pieces of equipment, known as pinsetting machinery.

Back in the day: Until about 1946, bowling pins were set and reset manually by “pin boys.”

Pinspotting and pinsetting Machines Enabled the Growth of Bowling

Pinsetting machines have been a centerpiece of bowling entertainment for over seven decades. The first automatic pinsetter was introduced in 1946 and considered game-changing technology at the time. It streamlined the laborious task of setting bowling pins which, until then, had been done manually by “pin boys.” It would not be an exaggeration to say that the advent of automatic pinspotting machines was a key driver for bowling’s meteoric rise in the decades that followed.

Fast-forward to today and you’ll find two types of bowling pin machines in use in bowling centers around the world: free-fall and string machines.

Free-Fall Bowling Machines

Free-Fall Bowling Machines   String Machines
       Free-fall machines derive their name from the fact that the bowling pins are not attached to anything as they go through the pinspotting process. As they sit untied on the pin deck, a combination of mechanical fingers and cups pick them up and re-set them. The first automatic pinspotter was a free-fall machine, and this is still the most prevalent type in use today            Invented in the mid-60s, string machines lift and re-set pins by connecting them to a drive mechanism using cords. String machines have fewer parts, require fewer adjustments, and demand less maintenance than their free-fall counterparts. 



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