A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Why can’t someone look at me the same way I look at pizza?” (4/27)
“What’s the best place to buy Cheerios and donuts?"/"Hole Foods.” (4/26)
“Warning! The consumption of alcohol might cause you to think you can sing” (4/26)
“Life is basically all the stuff you have to do to get from coffee to wine time” (4/25)
“I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education” (4/25)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from June 06, 2005
Skee-Ball
Remember Skee-Ball? From Coney Island, right? Maybe you've played it recently at a street fair?

Actually, the game comes from Philadelphia, but that doesn't mean that Coney Island didn't make it famous.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Skee-Ball
An indoor game in which balls set rolling down an alley are projected over a hump or otherwise into targets. Also attrib.

Skee-Ball is a proprietary term in the U.S.

1923 Daily Mail 11 June 3 The game of Skeeball is an American invention which has been in increasing operation in the United States for some six years. It is the latest development of the game of bowls, sharply distinguished from all similar games by a hump in the centre of the alley which causes the ball to leap high in the air and enter a target.

http://www.skeeball.com/company.asp?company=2
Company History

1909 Skee-Ball invented and patented by J.D. Estes of Philadelphia.

1914 First Skee-Ball Alleys sold and distributed to the outdoor amusement industry market by Maurice Piesen. Measuring 36 feet long, the alleys were quite large. As a result, the potential playing market was restricted since the game required some strength to play.

1928 Size of the Alley reduced by more than half — to 14 feet. Tremendous popularity achieved as the shortened version widened the range of appeal. Now the game was accessible to women, children and the elderly.

1932 First national Skee-Ball tournament held in Atlantic City, New Jersey arcade.

4 December 1914, Daily News (Frederick, MD), pg. 8, col. 1:
Mr. Conway plans to start an innovation here by running tennit and skee ball alleys.

8 May 1915, New York Times, pg. 17:
SKEE-BALL HAS ARRIVED.
Old Princeton Football Stars Open
Room in Times Square.

Skee-ball, the fascinating sport which has found so much favor at the seaside resorts and in Philadelphia, was introduced to New York last night when the Manhattan Skee-ball alleys, under the proprietorship of Arthur, (Beef,) and Bert Wheeler, the Princeton football stars of some years ago, were opened on Seventh Avenue, opposite the Times Building. A representative gathering of clubmen tried their hand at the innovation sport and found in it a game that required much of the delicacy of billiard, even though it more nearly resembles bowling. Pat McDonald, the champion weight thrower, was doing his duty as one of the traffic squad at Forty-third Street and Broadway when he heard that skee-ball had made its debut, and as soon as he was free tried the game. He says weight throwing is easy compared to making a good score on the alleys. There were a lot of others, too, who came to the same conclusion.

The new sport is really a variation of bowling with a hump two-thirds of the way down the alley that shoots the ball, which is about the size of a duck-pin ball, up to cups arranged on a sort of large, grooved target. If you are lucky you may make a score of 200. But, just to show that a high degree of skill is called for, it is only necessary to say that a perfect count totals 450. You would like skee-ball as a pastime, and you would like it even though you were not a player, for it is as interesting to watch as to take part in. An automatic counter adds the total score as the player bowls, so that the spectator can see instantly how the game is going. From the indications last night, however, there won't be many spectators when there is a vacant alley. The game really gets one. You go up, confident that it is your turn to roll a high total, and you don't. But you can't discourage a skee-ball player.

The play for a real match calls for a series of ten frames of nine balls each. The best score that has ever been rolled stands to the credit of "Chief" Bender, formerly of the Athletics, who is the owner of an alley in Philadelphia. He rolled 3,500 in ten frames, and in one frame made the perfect score of 450.

(Trademark)
Word Mark SKEE-BALL
Goods and Services IC 028. US 022. G & S: GAME IN THE NATURE OF A BOWLING GAME AND PARTS THEREOF. FIRST USE: 19081208. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19081208
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 71276901
Filing Date December 18, 1928
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0256496
Registration Date May 21, 1929
Owner (REGISTRANT) NATIONAL SKEE-BALL COMPANY, INC. CORPORATION NEW YORK NEPTUNE AVE. AND W. 20TH ST. CONEY ISLAND NEW YORK
(LAST LISTED OWNER) SKEE BALL, INC. CORPORATION ASSIGNEE OF PENNSYLVANIA 121 LIBERTY LANE CHALFONT PENNSYLVANIA 18914
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record THOMAS L. LOCKHART
Disclaimer THE WORD "BALL" IS DISCLAIMED APART FROMTHE MARK SHOWN IN THE DRAWING.
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 12C. SECT 15.
Renewal 4TH RENEWAL 19990628
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Sports/Games • (0) Comments • Monday, June 06, 2005 • Permalink