Saturday, November 6, 2010

"American Bowling Congress, Chicago - 1929" Lapel Pin

Today's random item found in my house is a gold plated lapel pin from the 1929 American Bowling Congress meeting held in Chicago. Truly if ever there was an organization that needed to be formed for the good of humanity it was the American Bowling Congress.  Here's why...according the Encyclopedia Britannica the American Bowling Congress was organized on September 9th, 1895 in New York City in order to end the feud between Midwestern and East Coast bowlers.  The rift between these bowling brethren further deepened as New York bowlers were going renegade and making up their own rules and regulations.  Obviously this chaos...nay, anarchy had to be stopped and thus the American Bowling Congress was formed.  In 1901 Chicago received endorsement as one of the nation's leading bowling centers when the American Bowling Congress (ABC) conducted its inaugural national men's tournament on the lanes in the Welsbach Building on Wabash Avenue in the Loop. These gatherings were held from 1901 on to discuss and maintain the integrity of the game of bowling and further the agenda of bowling enthusiasts everywhere.  Balance and order were restored and bowling as the harmonious union of man, ball, lane and rentable shoes as we know it today was born...

American Bowling Congress, Chicago, Ill - 1929 Lapel Pin

Now how this label pin came to be in my possession I know not.  Well I know this belonged to my grandpa or at least it was in his cufflink box, but I sincerely doubt that my own grandfather had attended the congress when he was six years old.  Thus I can only assume that it belonged to my great-great uncle George Brown who was the treasurer for the railroad worker's union in the 1920s and 1930s and had a big three story house on Wentworth St. over on the South Side of Chicago.  He was a mover and a shaker in 1920s Chicago and carried a thousand dollar pocket watch and loved a good cigar.  When you look at his life...leader of a union in Chicago, big house during the Great Depression, lots of cash in his tailored trench coat and a Ford Model T in his garage I think you can draw a pretty clear conclusion as to what he was...

George Holmes Brown (1866-1949)

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