When Cavemen Go Bowling

cavemen bowling historyWhat is Bowling?

Submitter: The history of bowling with stereotyped fat, hairy, big-lipped caveman on the front is really an amazing way to get kids interested in a modern sport.  I think the Geico caveman should get involved with promoting this one…

Holly: There’s some interesting history of the game here!  If you’ve got space on your shelves and by some  miracle this book has held together since 1975, there’s no real harm in keeping this one.  On the other hand, if it hasn’t circulated recently, is falling apart, or you need space for new and current bowling titles, I’d say this is a weeding candidate.  If the publisher re-releases it, Geico guy would be a great addition!




  1. I’m dying to know the story of the last picture. Was bowling used in the middle ages to drive away demons? Why would the devil hide behind a bowling pin in the first place? Were medieval bowling teams sponsored by the Church and coached by monks? What’s that guy with the club doing in the background? I’ve got to know!

  2. Bob: “But, Friar, wouldn’t it be easier to let Fred bash the Devil with his club?”

    “Quiet, sinner, and roll! Only a true repentant will vanquish Satan by rolling a rock at him!”

    Devil: “By the way, I am only pretending to be scared!”

  3. Yeah, Kata, I’m curious about that, too. Submitter, is there anything in the book to give a hint as to whether the parts about caveman bowling are based on actual evidence of any kind, or just pulled out of the author’s ass?

  4. I’m gonna go with “pulled out of the author’s ass” – according the University of Wikipedia, the oldest known evidence for a bowling-type game is from Ancient Egypt, which is pretty impressive but hardly Neolithic. I do, however, like the idea that Avebury and Stonehenge might have been bowling alleys…

  5. Wow ! That’s the ultimate cliché in historical lectures, to start with “Since prehistoric times, men has been doing this…”

    At least we don’t have drawings of dinosaurs playing bowling with their own eggs…

  6. Did cavemen bowl “beer frames”? And, what about the cave women? They must have had a league, too.

  7. Cavemen aside, I’m with the others….let’s find out what the deal is with Bowling for Satan.

  8. Cavemen really did bowl! Have you people not seen the fascinating documentary “The Flintstones”? They did it with great flare too.

  9. I don’t care about the accuracy (as long as this isn’t shelved in nonfiction). I love the illustrations.

  10. I’m not in the least interested in bowling, but the pictures are superb. I wonder what other books this illustrator did.

  11. Now I’m wondering if there’s any real evidence that prehistoric peoples bowled. The illustrations are good, but if kids are getting the wrong information I don’t think it redeems this.

  12. I’m not in the least interested in bowling, but the pictures are superb. I wonder what other books this illustrator did.
    Anthony Ravielli did the illustrations in golfer Ben Hogan’s “Five Lessons” and other golf instruction books as well as some “Sports Illustrated” covers from the late 1950s (those can be seen in SI’s vault at its website).

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