picture on front cover/dust jacket
Title The Canadian Lawn Bowlers' Handbook 1903
Compilers Believed to be those listed under 'Publishers'
Publishers Geo R Hargraft, Q D McCulloch, A S Wigmore and David Carlyle
First published 1903
ISBN Pre-ISBN system
Edition reviewed 1st
Hardback/softback Hardback
List price Not known
Cover size (cm)
(height x width)
15.7 x 21.8
Number of pages 420 (including advertisements)
Number of pages with Coloured photos Black & white photos Line drawings
  None 199 2
Synopsis I've made the assumption in the details shown above that the compilers and publishers of this book were the same four gentlemen who appear in a photographic montage captioned 'Publishers Lawn Bowlers Handbook'. Whatever the truth, the 400-page book represents a major undertaking that has many similarities to a book that post-dated it by over 50 years, namely Godfrey Bolsover's 1300-page Who's Who and Encyclopaedia of Bowls published in 1959.

The bulk of The Canadian Lawn Bowlers' Handbook 1903 is devoted to detailed descriptions of Canadian bowling associations and clubs - chiefly those in Ontario. Typically, those sections dealing with associations have information on the constitution, by-laws, rules, history, records, and lists and photos of past and present officers. Information on the 72 clubs listed varies from an entry of one or two lines to three or four pages - the latter usually including the club's history, size of membership and list and photos of officers.

The last part of the book contains a miscellany that includes contents entitled:

  • The Game
  • Bowling Green Construction
  • Scottish Rink Finals
  • Prominent Bowlers

The large number of advertisements (158 pages) occur randomly throughout the book and, apart from the expected appearance of suppliers of bowls and accessories, range in subject matter from dental, legal and funeral services to merchants selling leather goods, fine furs, cigars, hardware, railway lamps and signals, stable requisites, and many more.

Overall, this fascinating magnum opus is a bowls historian's delight - the likes of which may never be repeated.