Box Ball [Automatic Bowling Alley]

The Bowler by Holcomb & Hoke Mfg. Co.


Not emulated in MAME Coin-Operated Bowler

Box Ball [Automatic Bowling Alley] © 1904 Holcomb & Hoke Mfg. Co.


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Produced from 1904 to 1940, this game started with 5 numbered pins of various values and then became a 10-pin game years later.

Box ball was a modified version of bowling, using smaller balls in knocking down 5 pins set horizontally across a wooden alley. Lanes were portable and available in 3 sizes, providing for quick and easy installation in amusements parks, bars and other entertainment venues both big and small. Purchase of American Box Ball Co. in 1903 prompted Holcomb & Hoke's relocation to Indianapolis, Indiana. Fueled by the cross-country success of their fledgling business, the two men built their first manufacturing facility in 1906. Demand for the game remained steady for the next 7 years, at which time they concluded that the box ball market was nearly saturated.

The Coin Machine Journal - January 1940 issue

Page last modified on April 14, 2009