Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2020 July 03 • Friday

The photo of Eva Lynd from Bowler's Handbook (1958, noted by us in Eva: Men's Adventure Supermodel) compelled us to get that actual Bowler's Handbook.

It turned out to be pretty interesting.

Of course we went looking for Ms. Lynd right away and found her.

Strangely, the photograph in Eva: Men's Adventure Supermodel has this caption, which appears to have been clipped and pasted on top of the photo: "Dazzling Eva Lynd is a little dazzled herself at the ingenious operation of Amercan Machine & Foundry Company's Automatic Pinspotter. It has revolutionized the bowling industry".

As you can see, the actual copy of Bowler's Handbook that has joined the Gutbrain archives has a slightly more staid text: "Eva Lynd is intrigued by the ingenious operation of American Machine & Foundry Company pinspotter, revolutionary development".

What gives? We might never know. We might not even be able to recall this discrepancy at some point down the road.

Speaking of the use of machines in the bowling industry, Bowling Handbook shows how bowling balls get the holes put in them, a process about which it had never before occurred to me to wonder.

We bought this for Eva Lynd but got a surprise Groucho Marx bonus.

And of course there's a lot about bowling, including a substantial amount of content about women who bowl or, if you prefer, "Ladies of the Lanes".

After noting that there are about six million women bowlers active in the US, the article presents numerous positive comments about men and women both bowling and competing, though there seems to be some agreement among the men and women quoted that men will always have the competitive edge.

The reasons cited are fairly vague, when reasons are given at all. It comes down to unsubstantiated assertions of differences in strength and stamina.

Bowling champions Hank Marino and Buzz Fazio had nothing but unqualified praise for Marion Ladewig, nine-time "Female Bowler of the Year" and first female bowler to be inducted into the Women's Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, according to Wikipedia.

Hank Marino felt that watching Brunswick's Marion Ladewig in motion was about as fine a course of bowling as any man or woman could get.

"The results she gets speak for themselves and show that a big hook is not necessary for making high scores. She bowls with amazing accuracy, because her coordination is perfect and her approach smooth. There's nothing in her style to throw her accuracy off."

Another big leaguer who feels that anyone can profit by watching Marion Ladewig in person, on film, or TV is Buzz Fazio—

"Marion is outstanding. Her style is simple. Simplicity is the secret. She walsk—Just four steps—and sets the ball down straight. Her direction is amazing. The ball goes just where it's supposed to go. Her style is something for all women and men to study," concludes Buzz.

But apparently, even in 1958, there was this old problem:

Far from gloomy about prospects of women, Hank says there is one definite way for ladies to boost their scores. That is to wear slacks wherever local custom permits.

"In some areas of the nation, it is considered improper for women to wear slacks," he explains. "Yet dresses often interfere with a woman's freedom to swing the ball pendulum-style. Wearing of slacks by women bowlers would give them a definite rise in scores."

All in all, the Bowler's Handbook was an interesting window to look through.

We'll leave you with this "Come Hell or High Water" photo of a bowler wading through two feet of water to get to his league.