A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 29, 2006
Manhattan Rubber (bowling ball)
"Manhattan Rubber" bowling balls were popular in the 1950s and early 1960s. The "Manhattan Rubber" was most popular in Chicago.

Re: Any Manhattan Rubber Experts Out There?? [re: RandyO]
01/18/05 07:32 PM ( Edit Reply

I am not a expert on Manhattan Rubber balls but I can tell you that there was a great difference between the AMF balls that were made during the 60's and those in the 70's. The rubber shell was considerably thicker on the balls made in the 60's than those made later. I used a very old (1968 production) AMF Rocket during 1973 that I had three dots put on it to satisfy the marketing people at AMF. This 1968 ball had a much thicker rubber shell than what was available at that time. I am sure that ball companies would reduce the cost of making rubber balls by substituting cheaper materials for more expensive materials.
Posted by Travis at 11-06-04 17:47:03
Manhatten rubber ball
"Manhatten Rubber" is the name of the company, not the compostion of the ball. I had one in the mid 1980's and it was a Urethane ball (it was a good ball). I think they went out of the bowling ball bussiness in the late 1980's. I know they were making bowling ball back in the 1930's and perrhaps even earlier----before people like Storm, Track, Columbia, etc were even heard of. So, the ball may be rubber, plastic, or urethane. It can be polished just like any other ball.

5 September 1948, Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. A3:
Bowlers can't afford to use anything but the BEST. For instance, bowlers rolling Universal's Manhattan Rubber Ball won twice as many 1948 Men's and Women's Official Championships -- city, state, and national -- as those rolling all other makes combined!

4 January 1950, Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. B4:
Announcement of Junie's signing was made jointly by officials of the Manhattan Rubber division of Raybestos-Manhattan, Inc., Passaic, N. J., and Sam [Tenpin Tattler] Weinstein, general manager of the Universal Bowling Supply company, distributor of the firm's bowling equipment.

3 January 1960, Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. A2:
In Chicago...Bowling Capital of the World...More Champions Roll Universal's Manhattan Rubber Ball...by far...than any other ball!

Posted by Barry Popik
Sports/Games • (6) Comments • Monday, May 29, 2006 • Permalink