was founded in New York in 1900 as a manufacturer of industrial equipment. The company's first product was automated machinery for the tobacco industry.
What does AMF stand for?
The letters AMF stand for American Machine and Foundry. Today, the bowling company is officially known as AMF Bowling Centers Inc.
When did AMF enter the bowling business?
In 1936, Fred Schmidt developed the first automated pinspotter in his garage in Pear River, NY. AMF management was intrigued by his invention and hired him in 1938 to perfect the pinspotter.
In 1946, the pinspotter made its first public debut at the ABC National Championship in Buffalo, NY. In 1952, the pinspotter went into full production and revolutionized the bowling industry -- touching off a boom in the sport. AMF
became the dominant force in the bowling industry.
In the past, did AMF manufacture other types of equipment?
Until the mid 1980s, AMF's broad range of leisure equipment included tennis racquets and snow skis, lawn and garden equipment, wheel goods, Ben Hogan golf clubs, Voit inflatable balls, exercise equipment, Hatteras yachts and scuba gear. At one time, AMF did own Harley Davidson motorcycles.
In 1985, AMF Inc. was purchased in a hostile takeover bid by a Minnesota-based company, Minstar, Inc. Minstar sold off most of its divisions on a worldwide basis. The bowling division was one of the last divisions to be sold. It was purchased by a group of investors in Richmond, Va.
Where is AMF Bowling Centers Inc. headquartered?
Since the mid 1980s AMF Bowling has operated its international headquarters in Richmond, Va.