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How a Pinspotting Machine Works from Gizzard Stone on Vimeo.


They put a curtain up to protect the secret, but I was able to sneak behind it and find out how a pin setting machine at the local bowling alley works.

History of Pinspotters

The machines at Coconut Bowl at Wild Island Family Adventure Park in Sparks, NV (East Reno) are Qubica AMF 8290 XL Pinspotters. 50 years ago the manufacturer Qubica AMF, then a manufacturing company known as American Machine & Foundary that made equipment for bakeries, tobacco producers and apparel makers, was one one of the first companies to produce automatic pinsetters. Prior to the full production of automatic pinspotters in 1952, bowlers had to wait for pins to be re-set by hand.

Pinboys: Human pinspotters
1:00 A.M. Pin boys working in Subway Bowling Alleys, 65 South St., B'klyn, N.Y. every night. 3 smaller boys were kept out of the photo by Boss. Location: New York--Brooklyn, New York (State) Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940, photographer. April, 1910

The first pattent for the bowling machines was held by Gottfried Schmidt who invented the machine in his garage in 1936.

The AMF family of pinspotters, the very first ones ever used in quantity in the industry, have changed little since the original version. There are three main pinspotter models, the 82-30 (no longer produced, but still in common use, ever since the 1960s US bowling boom and the early career of Dick Weber), the 82-70 (prototyped in 1962, and still in production, since 1968), and the newest version the 82-90 and the 82-90XLI, both of which use the 82-70’s general mechanical design. All operate generally the same with small improvements. [Wikipedia]

What its’s like to work on a bowling machine

Here’s a segment from Dirty Jobs where Mike is a bowling mechanic for a day.

Go Bowling

Craig and Jonathan at Wild Island were kind enough to spend some time helping me get the footage for this video, and they also want you to go bowling. They’ve given me a package to give away to fans of The Gizzard Stone for a fun afternoon with the family and friends at Coconut Bowl. The package includes:

  1. 1 hour of bowling for up to 12 people
  2. 1 pitcher of beer or soda
  3. 1 large pizza
  4. 4 attraction tickets
    1. Laser Maze
    2. Go Karts
    3. High Ballocity
    4. Pirate Cove (indoor black light mini golf)
    5. Outdoor mini golf
    6. Bowling w/ free shoes.

To win the family pack all you have to do is go to The Gizzard Stone Facebook Page and enter the sweepstakes.

Don’t think just cause you don’t live in Reno or East Reno (Sparks) this is useless to you. Reno is on the way to everywhere, and if you’re in reno to go skiing, see a pro bike race, or do come competitive river kayaking, Sparks is only a short drive away.


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