This snapshot captures three pin boys as they work at a bowling alley. Pin boys, also known as pin setters were stationed in a sunken area of a bowling alley which was located behind the pins. The pin boy removed pins after they were knocked down, replaced pins each frame, and returned the bowlers ball. The day of pin boys is long over as automation and computers became employed in bowling alleys. At least two of the young men in this photo are smoking while they are working. The pin boys are wearing tee shirts, presumably because they were exerting themselves in a hot environment. Being a pin boy doesn’t look like a fun job.

Published in: on June 12, 2017 at 9:59 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. “…and Janet ran away with a pin boy.”…Wouldn’t that be a wonderful ending to a Depression/WW2 short story? Imagine the lives these fellows lived. But then, I can imagine that one of them might have been working to achieve his Masters and another, perhaps a promotion to that of short order cook in the bowling alley’s snack bar. What a wonderful, special photo, Cabinet Card. A spectacular find. Many thanks!

  2. In the 1940 Census taken on April 6, 1940, my Dad was working as a pin boy at Savin Rock, an amusement park in West Haven CT. He also worked passing out Bingo cards at a Bingo parlor there. That’s where he met my mother. They were married November 12, 1940. He was just 21; she was 18. Shortly after, he went to work for a company that made transatlantic cables that were essential to the war effort, so he was not drafted until 1942 and shipped out in January 1943.

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