1959 United Handicap bowling alley bowler machine

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  • Item Category: Entertainment
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Aug 18, 2008
  • Channel: Auction House
Up for auction is a 1959 United Handicap large ball (4.5âe) bowling machine. It is one of three versions that United created in 1959 that had both individual and team scoring. This is a unique and rare feature that United offered on these three games. The only other team bowler, which I know of offered by United, was their 1957 Team small ball (3âe) bowling machine.
The way the team scores are tallied is that t are separate score reels for each team. Players 1, 3, and 5 have their reels on the left side of the backglass and Players 2, 4, and 6 have their reels on the right side of the backglass. As each player scores, their total is added to their own individual set of score reels and to their corresponding team score reels. You can play either an all individual game or play a game with teams. The teams would be players 1 and 3 Vs. players 2 and 4, or players 1, 3, and 5 Vs. players 2, 4, and 6. This is truly a rare feature that was only offered in these few games.
This bowler also has three handicap settings, Easy, Medium, and Hard. These settings are controlled by a button on top of the coin entry section of the game. The button advances a stepper unit which changes the wiring of the lane roll over switches making it easier or harder to get a strike. You can push the button and change the skill levels before each individual bowls during any frame. This feature is great when you are bowling with young kids.
United was the Cadillac of bowling machines. A few other companies made bowlers, but United made the best. They made bowling machines from the early fifties until the early seventies. Their workmanship stands the test of time. You will see more United bowlers still in use today than any other bowler. Neglect is the only real enemy of these games.
Generally, the worst problems that you will find is stuck or sluggish score reels and steppers, this is either caused by grease that has solidified throughout the years, or from WD40 which gums up the mechanical parts. The bowler will not function or score properly until all the old grease is removed. Once you get rid of the neglect and repair these machines, it could last you a lifetime.
This particular bowler had a few loose wires, a bad coil, five broken pin gears, score reel and stepper abuse, and a cracked backglass by players six and four. I repaired everything but the backglass. The previous owner repaired the front hood section.
I took apart the score reels and cleaned all the mechanical parts. I then lubed the metal to metal parts with a Teflon lubricant. I also removed all of player sixâe(tm)s parts and swapped them out with player ones parts. This was done because player ones parts are more worn than player sixâe(tm)s parts. Both parts work fine, but swapping the two players out increases the amount of years that you will get from their mechanical parts. The reason is because player one is used in every game, player six is not. So the player six parts, in comparison to the player one parts, look brand new. My theory is that if this game worked for nearly fifty years on the original player one parts, it should be good for another fifty years on the nearly new old stock player six parts. I also swapped out the parts for player two and for player five. The parts for players three and four were swapped out with the parts for the team score reels.
T is also separate strike and spare step ups for each individual player. Their parts were also exchanged like the above mentioned score reels.
All of the steppers were mechanically taken apart, cleaned, lubed, put back together, and tested. I also lightly lubricated the wiper arm contacts with the Teflon lubricant to make the steppers run more smoothly and to prevent any further wear to their contact points. The relays were all tested and all of their contacts were adjusted properly. The motors were also inspected and oiled.
The machine works off of a dime. The original rejecter and coin switch, plus the coin catcher, which is usually missing, are t Another first was that all th...