City: San Diego
An electronics whiz from his early working days, J.B. turned his talents to bowling inventions such as the Tel-E-Score overhead projector and the electronic foul detector. Coker invented the foul detector in 1937, not only because a human judge was needed for every league session, but because bowlers were sliding past the foul line and ruining the lane finish. During the same period, a proprietor suggested Coker develop something to project scores so bowlers and fans could see what was taking place. Coker drafted basic plans, then sought out scientists at Cal Tech who helped him design what was to become the Tel-E-Score.