International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame – St. Louis, Missouri 5,000 years of bowling history and four free frames of bowling.
See the computer databases (The database includes all ABC/WIBC (USBC) sanctioned 300 games and 800+ series, national hall of famers, and local and state hall of fame inductees that were reported to the Hall of Fame) to the bowling pin car, from world famous Mettlach steins to zany 50’s team shirts, the IBMHF holds the entire story of bowling. See the time tunnel, called "Tenpin Alley".
Bowling has a long and rich history, and today is one of the most popular sports in the world. A British anthropologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, discovered in the 1930’s a collection of objects in a child’s grave in Egypt that appeared to him to be used for a crude form of bowling. If he was correct, then bowling traces its ancestry to 3200 BC.
The game had its ups and downs in America. An 1841 Connecticut law made it illegal to maintain "any ninepin lanes", probably because bowling was the object of much gambling. But the problem, of course, also evidenced its popularity. Also, many captains of industry chose to install a lane in their mansions.
While it is uncertain where the tenpin game evolved, by the late 1800s it was prevalent in many states such as New York, Ohio and as far "west" as Illinois. However, details like ball weights and pin dimensions varied by region. But that changed when restauranteur Joe Thum finally pulled together representatives of the various regional bowling clubs. On September 9, 1895, at Beethoven Hall in New York City, the American Bowling Congress was born. Soon standardization would be established, and major national competitions could be held.
While women had been bowling in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the American Bowling Congress was for men. It was in 1917 that the Women’s International Bowling Congress was born in St. Louis. Encouraged by proprietor Dennis Sweeney, women leaders from around the country participating in a tournament decided to form what was then called the Women’s National Bowling Association.
Hours: October through March:
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Closed on Sunday and Monday
April through September
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
*Open until 6:30 p.m. on Cardinals home game evenings.
(Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day)
Admission: Adult: $7.50
Senior (66+): $7.00
Youth (Under 16): $6.00
Last admissions sold 30 minutes before closing
Location: 111 Stadium Plaza, St. Louis, Missouri
Right across from Busch Stadium