The story is a simple one; John Davis began his pioneering quest in the game of bowling seeking answers to problems that many experts of the time could not give him. From his very first job in bowling as a mechanic in a bowling center, to the invention that started Kegel in 1981, "The Key", to today's most sophisticated lane maintenance equipment ever made, it was basic curiosity and trying to find a better way that drove the man, and today, leads the company he founded.
As the years went by, significant lane maintenance inventions continued and the company flourished. Davis become known as one of the foremost experts in the field of lane maintenance and conditioning. Yet, he was never comfortable being a "laneman", even with products that proved to be as accurate and reliable as any equipment in the world.
For John Davis, the more he delved into the study of lane maintenance, the more he knew bowling needed to seriously continue the study of lane conditions for the betterment of the game, the people that play the game, and the company he founded. When it came time to take action, he could often be heard repeating the famous quotation, "If not us who?...If not now, when?"
His favorite saying about the laneman's dilemma was this: "Imagine you are a lane man. Picture yourself standing on the lane. It is four o'clock in the morning and a major competitive tournament begins at eight o`clock. You have all the latest machines to do the job. You have all the latest conditioners. What lane oil pattern will you use? How much oil will you use? You might look around for the book. There is no book. You might look around for the rules or guidelines. There are no rules or guidelines. Still, you must put something on the lane. So, you give it your best guess."
John Milton Davis passed away on January 25, 2013, and he would tell you that up to today, even with all the knowledge he obtained, all the tools he invented, and all the people he has trained, we're still guessing to a large degree. The bowling environment is in constant flux, and because Kegel is able to change direction faster than larger corporations, we are able to be at the forefront of those changes by continuing to create innovative products.
Most importantly though, the people at Kegel continue to be curious, provide solutions, and help customers deal with issues because we often see problems before anyone else does.
Just like John Davis did...