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Bonkers for bowling

The Story

Live from the Eglinton Bowling Lanes, CBC's Tabloid finds out what's behind the nation's bowling craze. Marianne Dibble, Canada's "suffragette of bowling," talks about how she muscled in on the male-dominated game frame by frame. Canadian inventor of five-pin bowling, Tommy Ryan, on how he came up with the sport. Eglinton Lanes manager Harry Peppiet spells out bowling etiquette and demonstrates "trick bowling." And sporting a tuxedo for his TV appearance, owner Bernie Porter testifies to the sport's popularity. A frosty weather forecast, shouted by Percy Saltzman over a barrage of rolling balls, begins the show.

Medium: Television
Program: Tabloid
Broadcast Date: Jan. 25, 1957
Guest(s): Marianne Dibble, Harry Peppiet, Bernie Porter, Tommy Ryan
Host: Percy Saltzman, Gil Christy, Joyce Davidson
Duration: 27:09

Did You know?

• Tireless entrepreneur Thomas (Tommy) F. Ryan launched the country's first regulation ten-pin bowling alley in 1905. Ryan imported palm trees and hired a string orchestra to play his Toronto Bowling Club. The members-only club attracted the likes of Sir John Eaton (son of department store magnate Timothy Eaton), judges and other cigar-smoking society patrons.

• Ryan's multiple business ventures kept him so busy that he never patented five-pin bowling. "I was the biggest sucker in the world," he told a reporter.

• Ryan was a long-time bachelor and a judge for the Miss Toronto Beauty Contest -- another one of his inventions -- until two years before his death. He finally relinquished singledom at age 82, marrying his 50-year-old secretary Ruth Robins in secret.




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