February 25, 2017

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AMF Pinsetter

AMF Pinsetter

His machine turned bowling into a billion dollar industry. Learn how high-maintenance employees inspired one bowling alley owner to invent the AMF pinsetter.

What they do:
Invented the first fully automated pinsetter for bowling.

Inspiration:
When 14 lb. bowling balls sent heavy wooden pins flying into the air, pin boys were frequently injured. The pin boys often demanded higher wages for their hazardous work, and bosses like George Beckerle complained they were costing him a fortune.

About the business:
Back in 1936, Beckerle complained about his pinsetters to one of his bowlers, Gottfried Schmidt. Schmidt worked across the street at a factory, which made machinery for the paper folding industry, and he thought maybe they could figure out a way to better mechanize pin setting. Schmidt asked a company draftsman to draw up a blueprint and together the three men perfected the machine. They became partners and proud owners of the world’s first fully automatic pinsetter.

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