Ryan, Thomas F.

Thomas F. Ryan, businessman, sports promoter (b at Guelph, Ont 1872; d at Toronto 19 Nov 1961). He introduced the first 10-pin BOWLING alley in Canada and attracted many prominent businessmen and professionals to his downtown Toronto facility. To meet complaints that the heavy ball was causing arm strain among his genteel clientele, Ryan introduced a smaller ball for a game called duckpin and had his father whittle down 5 pins to match.

Ryan invented a new scoring system and introduced his game either in 1908 or 1909. He later added the finishing touch - the rubber collar still familiar around the belly of the pin. Ryan neglected to patent his invention and saw no financial gain from it, except in his own alley. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1971.