Building a Bowling Capital
Bowling evolved in the mid-nineteenth century United States from imported European games like the German kegling. Beginning with clubs in eastern U.S cities, bowling grew in popularity and spread to the Midwest—particularly cities like Milwaukee—as German-Americans …
Earlene Fuller designed and made bowling outfits for numerous black and white teams in Milwaukee and elsewhere from 1970 through the mid-1990s. She was a member in two African American bowling organizations — the National Bowling Association and the Milwaukee Bowlers Guild, Inc. — and in the 1990s began incorporating kente cloth and other African-inspired fabric patterns into the shirts she made for her own teams.
Branding the Movement
This shirt, which features an African kente cloth print, was designed, made and worn in the mid-1990s by Milwaukee's Earlene Fuller, an African American bowler and seamstress.
This bowling shirt costume from the television series Happy Day speaks to Wisconsin's association with bowling. Milwaukee, where the show was set, was known as the bowling capital of America.
This bowling pin was produced by the Vulcan Corporation in Antigo, Wisconsin, sometime in the late 1950s after Vulcan had introduced its patented “Nyl-Tuf Supreme” plastic coating (as indicated by the pin’s red label).
The Vulcan Corporation was founded in 1909 in Ohio as a manufacturer of wooden shoe lasts. The business really took off once they developed a new shoe last turning lathe. In 1919, Vulcan started a plant …
Happy Days Near and Far
In 1964, a representative of Japanese company Sanko Trading visited the Vulcan Corporation, a bowling-pin manufacturer based in Antigo, Wisconsin. Sanko was seeking a deal for exclusive rights to import bowling pins to Japan. At the …