On March 13, 1906 J. Clayton Backus of Smethport patented a machine that he invented for bowling alleys. The machine that he invented was an automatic pinsetter and spotter for persons working in bowling alleys. This aparratus used a series of different weights and levers to make the user's job much easier. The pinsetter was used by simply placing the pins down below the pinsetter and turning a crank. He teamed up with Holmes and Gilfillan to become one of the leading producers of pinsetters in his time. His patent was used until 1939 when Bernard Ball invented the Spot-O-Matic pinsetting machine.
1895: Holmes and Gilfillan main page 1895: Home of Alba J. Gilfillan 1906: Backus Company 1915 Pinsetter Installation at Olmstead Manor: (photos taken in 2000!) 1940: Bernard Ball Biography 1940: Bernard Ball Spotomatic Pinsetter Patents 1951: Milton H. Wright Spotomatic Patent
1906: Birth of Backus Company
Early Backus Garage: Backus builds
automotive garage in front of Backus Co.
1911: Cutglass Factory
purchased by Backus Novelty
1950's: Backus joins the Garage
and the new factory
Smethport History main page
In 1932 Mr. Backus patented his new controller for the pinsetter apparatus. The controller made the pins easier to set down on the wood of the alley. Setting pins on the alley was also alot less noisy.
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