Jack’s Cabinet of Curiosities: Automation

Automation is taking it out of the hands and letting technology do the work.

I had the good fortune to work at many part-time jobs during the high school and college days. This gave me a good understanding of the world of work. Some of these jobs are now automated.

One of those jobs I worked at during evening hours was setting-up bowling pins. This was accomplished by using a machine loaded with ten bowling pins. Today that machine is loaded with pins automatically.  You have seen one in action if you have participated in a game of bowling. This machine setting pins was hand operated in my day.

Much physical activity was required of the operator. The machine held ten pins equally spaced in a triangle shaped metal form, which was pushed down with a horizontal metal bar, when released it extracted ten pins set in a triangle form.

The operator remained seated on a self above the pit until the bowling ball and pins fell into the pit. The ball was then put on the return channel and pins collected to refill the pin setting machine.

If the bowler only made a spare, some pins were left standing, the operator had to load the machine in the holes of the machine of the empty spots on the alley. Then awaiting a second try by the bowler to eliminate the remaining pins on the alley.

Once again, the operator pushed the bar down controlling the pin setter to rack-up the pins for the next bowler.

The job became more physical when the operator took care of setting pins on an adjacent alley. Timing was important for the operator. Be sure you’re not in the pit after resetting the pins. Sitting on the shelf above the pit was a safe place away from flying pins and the bowling ball.

I had just finished the fall season of football, my freshman year in high school and thought I was in good physical shape. After setting double alleys for the two shifts of bowling, my body felt exhausted.

My Father set bowling pins in his day of hand setting, one at a time. Two shifts lasted to late night work.

Maybe you had the experience of a job that was very physical and today is automated. Did you think while performing this physical job, there must be an easier way to doing this? As we advanced technically, someone found that easier way to it.

Not many jobs are as physical anymore. Those in which performed cause one to break a sweat. Now we go to the exercise center to sweat.

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