Jump to content
Steph

Akro Timeline

Recommended Posts

1936

Sept. 1936 -- Pop-Eye Packages:

(click to enlarge)

1936_PopeyeBox-1.jpg 1936_PopeyeBox_zoomA-1.jpg 1936_PopeyeBox_zoomB-1.jpg

If I had to guess the marbles from the photos, the sheen on the darkest ribbons would lead me to guess at least some oxbloods in the 10 cent box.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1939

I can't remember anyone else calling their mibs Royals right now, so I'll say Akro here.

1939_03_03_RoyalsInmesh.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Year?

This was a new name to me at a time when I might have thought I should be confident I'd heard all the Akro marble names.

I don't have much for dating them, but I do have some info on when marbles were being advertised for floral arrangements. I'll gather those up and check dates. Off the top of my head, I think it's the late 30's and early 40's.

Though the sample box looks old enough to be from the 20's, it is hard to tell when it might have been used.

afterthought: were caster balls named anything other than caster balls? If so, what?

In a sample box:

(click to enlarge)

th_AkroSampleCrystal.jpg

And the flower arranging balls from the industrial uses thread:

(click to enlarge)

th_AkroGoldenGateCrystalBalls.jpg th_AkroGoldenGateCrystalBallsc.jpg th_AkroGoldenGateCrystalBallsd.jpg

th_AkroGoldenGateCrystalBallse.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1940's

Another salesman's sample case. Again, the exact date is unknown, but my guess is mid 1940's.

It contains later era Akros. It seems most likely (to me) that the case was modified to reflect a simpler line.

It was 'found' in New Zealand, of all places! As far as I am aware, no others are known. Why haven't they been found in the USA?

(click to enlarge)

3Akrosamplerboxes026b-1.jpg

3Akrosamplerboxes020b-1.jpg

3Akrosamplerboxes022-1.jpg 3Akrosamplerboxes024-1.jpg

3Akrosamplerboxes023-1.jpg

(some discussion)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More 1940's?

Some more Akros which seem to be from about the same time frame. Jo sold this box recently.

190271469187_fauxgoddess217b.jpg

(click to enlarge)

th_190271469187_fauxgoddess217.jpg . . th_190271469187_fauxgoddess217c.jpg . . th_190271469187_fauxgoddess217d.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1946

Now that I've seen this ad, I've looked closely at the contents of boxes with the picture of the three boys, and they are very often the newer looking patches. But check out the "counter box" photo. That moss agate pic was first used about 15 years before. Note that the Moss Agate name has been blotted out!

(click to enlarge)

1946_03_Playthings_Akro-1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Late 1940's

1948

Lots of info in this article. Different versions were found in various papers around the country. I don't recall how complete this version is but offhand I think it looks pretty good. I'll compare others as I come across them again.

(click to enlarge)

1948_04_25_pD4_AkroHeatherington_15.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1950

This March 1950 ad is the latest of any sort I've seen for Akro so far -- not counting the one for the sale of the property.

1950_03_AkroAgate_Playthings.jpg

Note the reference to a N.Y. showroom.

A showroom is mentioned in a 1938 ad also, with a different room number. (So this isn't necessarily a holdover from an earlier ad.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1951

During part of the year former Akro employees

Akro is sold at auction on April 24, 1951.

For part of the year former employees use the facilities to make some "general line items", but supposedly not marbles. The name under which they worked was the Clarksburg Glass Company. (AMMM, p. 10).

Here is a May 8 news release pertaining to what the property may have been used for next.

(click to enlarge)

1951_05_08_p10_AkroAgateSiteNewO-1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1914, Akro made a very fast move to Clarksburg, WV and quickly went into marble production.

Hoping to help here with the dark ad for the Keystone box - the one with the word "PLAY" below it and Detroit,Michigan above. That is definitely from American Boy Dec. 1912. I have the original magazine and just double checked it. So that's certain. ---JASPER

Possibly the first Clarksburg ad, from a December 1914 Playthings Magazine:

(click to enlarge)

1914_12_ClarksburgAkro_Plaything-3.jpg . . . th_1914_12_ClarksburgAkro_Playthings.jpg

Odd thing -- the white onyx wasn't in the MFC line at the time.

It is odd because Akro was using MFC glass formulas on machines designed by Martin Christensen. Horace Hill had modified the machines at Akro just enough to convince the patent office to award him a new patent. However, the machines were so very similar that that it was later decided that the patent should not have been granted. (if I understand correctly)

In any case, Akro's early marbles were basically MFC's made at a different location and it hardly seems possible to me that Hill would have had the time, much less the expertise, to roll out a new marble style.

The golden yellow is a bit of a puzzle since it seems to have been a low production item for MFC, perhaps even experimental. However the White Onyx was one of their regular production items and a specific date is known for its introduction -- Sept. 12, 1915 -- nine months after Akro first advertised it.

I need clarification on whether Sept. 12 is when it went into production or was announced, or what.

Hoping to clarify here - The golden yellow is pretty easy to explain. All of the marbles in this first Akro box were not onyx marbles, Some were just game marbles - jade + turquoise.

In Hansel's first Akro box there are 6 "golden yellow" game marbles.

About the white onyx in the 1914 Playthings ad - I don't know anything about the Sept. 1915 date for MFC starting to make white onyx marbles. But I do know that December 1914 is only months before the Sept, 1915 production date. White onyx might easily been in development then. Akro was a

local jobber. They might have seen the development and asked for a run, or Akro might have asked for a special run just to offer something different than MFC was offering. Akro may have been the inspiration for MFC's introduction later. What I am saying here is speculative, but quite possible.

Another curious point to notice here is the the Sept. 1915 ad from Playthings Magazine features a row of white onyx right down the middle of the box! The articles and pictures for a September publication are in the works long before the publication date. I think this is evidence that the white onyx was produced before the September. It makes more believable Akro's claim. Besides, why would they offer something they couldn't supply? Another thing to remember is that MFC made onyx marbles by combining swirls of white with transparent colored glass. They also made clear marbles for furniture claw feet. It would be a piece of cake for they to add white to clear to make white onyx =- even much earlier than 1914. ----JASPER

Another ad for the keystone box, from about 1916

It looks like the publication is called "Something To Do". Al's bibliography mentions an ad in a Sept. 1915 Something To Do, but this page shows a 1916 magazine. This time the box is said to contain five different colors of striped onyx, so apparently at least one additional color has been introduced:

(click to enlarge)

1916_OrSo_Onyx_5Colors-1.jpg . . . th_1916_OrSo_Akro_KeystoneBox.jpg

More help, I hope. The ad on the page that is dated 1916 is in my reserves as being from 11-1915. I have the same picture that Steph shows, but I can't read the date on mine.

I'm not sure why I have it down as 11-1915, but I make a point of never putting down a definite date like that without knowing it for sure. Another point here - sometimes a 5 can be mistaken as a 6 if a piece of dark material connects the open circle with the straight line above.

I have a question. Does anyone have an ad for this box from 1914. I once bought a full year of American Boy magazines on ebay. I searched them diligently, but found none. It may be that they were too busy with moving to put out an ad. I have also heard that there was an ad for this box in 1916, but I have never seen one. It is unlikely because Akro developed their small display boxes in 1915. They were much lower priced and therefore, a lot easier to sell.-----JASPER

Edited by Steph
Fixed the quotation tags, I hope

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1914, Akro made a very fast move to Clarksburg, WV and quickly went into marble production.

The gray ad with the words "PLAY" below and "Detroit, Michigan" above is definitely from the American Boy Magazine Dec, 1912. I have the original here, and I took a look at it a few minutes ago to make sure. ---JASPER

Possibly the first Clarksburg ad, from a December 1914 Playthings Magazine:

(click to enlarge)

1914_12_ClarksburgAkro_Plaything-3.jpg . . . th_1914_12_ClarksburgAkro_Playthings.jpg

Odd thing -- the white onyx wasn't in the MFC line at the time.

It is odd because Akro was using MFC glass formulas on machines designed by Martin Christensen. Horace Hill had modified the machines at Akro just enough to convince the patent office to award him a new patent. However, the machines were so very similar that that it was later decided that the patent should not have been granted. (if I understand correctly)

In any case, Akro's early marbles were basically MFC's made at a different location and it hardly seems possible to me that Hill would have had the time, much less the expertise, to roll out a new marble style.

The golden yellow is a bit of a puzzle since it seems to have been a low production item for MFC, perhaps even experimental. However the White Onyx was one of their regular production items and a specific date is known for its introduction -- Sept. 12, 1915 -- nine months after Akro first advertised it.

I need clarification on whether Sept. 12 is when it went into production or was announced, or what.

Another ad for the keystone box, from about 1916

It looks like the publication is called "Something To Do". Al's bibliography mentions an ad in a Sept. 1915 Something To Do, but this page shows a 1916 magazine. This time the box is said to contain five different colors of striped onyx, so apparently at least one additional color has been introduced:

(click to enlarge)

1916_OrSo_Onyx_5Colors-1.jpg . . . th_1916_OrSo_Akro_KeystoneBox.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About "golden yellow" - This one's easy. This first Akro box did not just contain onyx marbles. It had game marbles too - jade & turquoise. The "golden yellows" are right there in Hansel's box. They are game marbles, not onyx.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About "golden yellow" - This one's easy. This first Akro box did not just contain onyx marbles. It had game marbles too - jade & turquoise. The "golden yellows" are right there in Hansel's box. They are game marbles, not onyx. ---JASPER

About the white onyx in Akros ad in the 1914 Playthings Magazine- I really have never heard of that production date of Sept. for MFC for white. I don't know about it one way or another. But I do know that Dec, 1914 is only a few months earlier than Sept. 1915. It's easy to imagine that MFC was just starting to look at white onyx in Dec. 1914. Another possibility is that Akro was a very good local customer. They may have requested a custom white onyx in 1914 just to have something different from MFC to offer. It would be a simple matter for MFC to swirl white into clear. They were doing that already - swirling white glass into transparent colored glass. Remember that clear glass marbles were being made by MFC for claw feet on furniture. =

The Sept. ad from the Sept 1915 "Something To Do Magazine" shows a line of white onyx marbles right down the center of the box. Preparation by magazines in a given month begin long before the month in which the preparation appears. So their picture for this ad was available before September. This means that the white onyx marbles packaged in Akro's first box shown there brings the Sept. production date under suspicion, because Akro had no production facilities when they were in Akron. Their offices there were used to package MFC marbles, and to send ads and packaged marbles to buyers. ---JASPER

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A question - Has anybody seen an ad for this box from 1914 or 1916. I have the ad that Steph thinks may be 1916, but I have it dated 11-1915.

I once bought a full rum of the American Boy Magazines for 1914 on ebay. I went through them twice, but found no ad by Akro.

An ad for this box in 1916 doesn't make a lot of sense. In that year Akro filed a patent for their small display boxes. This large counter display box was a lot harder to sell at 50 cents each than small display boxes at 5 and 10 cents each. ---JASPER

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×