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1DanS

Only One Man's Theory

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After WWII the U.S., in order to help rebuild the Japanese and German economies, sent them old marble making machines and certain amounts of glass. This of course, would not have restored the countries' wealth, but rather would have helped in putting people back to work and somewhat helping their economies. Remember, marbles were still very popular in the late 1940's. These machines would have been very simple, two stream gob feeders, with the feeder placed directly over the rollers. Two types of glass were used at one time. They would have been two opaque colors and the other being a transparent color and opaque white. The two streams of molten glass was mixed, cut, and dropped directly onto the spinning rollers. This process would have caused the "9" and tail as seen in these marbles. The "pontil" or more accurately the cut/shear mark would have been caused by dull shear blades and/or the temperature of the molten glass. The marbles were only sold in the Asian and European markets and not exported to the U.S. Therefore, no need for the boxes being marked "Made in Japan" or "Made in Germany". These marbles were completely machine made with no hand-gathering involved. Therefore, they should not be considered nor referred to as transitionals. Thank you for reading the ramblings of a crazy man.

thanks

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The 'thanks' belong to you!

Those are some interesting facts and thoughts!

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Thank you for your response, however, at this time there are no facts to my theory.

thanks

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I kinda sorta remember them getting marble-related help after the war.

My working theory is still that the transitionals were pre-war.

And then we have the jump from transitionals, whenever they were, to cat's eyes in the early 50's.

I love this topic.

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I do not think the US goverment would have sent free marble machines to Japan or Germany after WWII. Where would the goverment have got the machines ? Most of the vintage machines were designed and bulit by or for marble company owners or by a employee. Some or those machines designs were guarded like formulas were. At least for a good time period. Many machines or parts of had patents to secure or have the exclusive right to make or use. Why would be the need of a patent if the US were shipping them to Japan or Germany ? Competition for glass was high during WWII and after among marble companies. Most machine operators will not put up with dull shears very long. They would be changed or sharpened to cause less problems. Not exported to the US. Then how did so many end up in the US ? I am not sure that all the transitional style marbles were made in Japan and Germany on US built machines and none of the marbles exported to the US. I also think most of the transitional type were made pre WWII.

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Having observed marbles being made, and watching and helping guys try and get a corkscrew pattern I really see no way a 9 and tail would be possible with a simple gob feeder set up. I also think the marble machines to Japan story were never backed up with any proof.

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Ive just had a little look around google books and come across this article

i think it pretty much spells out marble production in germany in the 20s at least traditional production anyway

Makes me wonder how long the transitional period lasted

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=aFDJAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT58&dq=japanese+glass+industry+in+the+1920s&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WGAjVeqaCOS7mQXY1oGoDg&ved=0CBwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=japanese%20glass%20industry%20in%20the%201920s&f=false

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Thanks for your research and help Craig. We may have a discussion here. Hopefully, it will stay just that.

More theory:

For all intents and purposes most of the major marble making companies were done in the mid to late 1940's and by the early 1950's out of business. The U.S. could have bought their older machines and glasses and sent them overseas.

IMO the only true "transitional" marbles, hand-gathered, hand cut and machine rounded were produced by the M.F.C company. M.F.C closed in 1921 due to a couple of factors, a shortage of natural gas and the invention of the marble making machine. The "9" and tail effect: Think of a teardrop of two different molten glasses hanging off a putny rod directly over the moving rollers. The "pointy end" of the teardrop was cut and when landing on the rollers created the tail by wrapping the glass around the marble. The two types of mixed glass, when landing on the rollers may have created the unintentional "9".

In 1915 Akro patented a hand fed semi-automatic machine. The glass was hand-gathered, but the marbles were machine cut and rounded. Other companies may have followed the trend and come up with their own version of this type of machine. Therefore, by the early 1920's the making of true "transitional" marbles made after say 1920 would not have been timely nor cost effective.

Where were all of these "transitional" marbles 20, 15, or even 10 years ago? If you could find them, you could have bought them for pennies on the dollar. Then someone comes along and slaps the term transitional on them and bang, prices increase and more and more start showing up (much like the James Leighton marbles). Perhaps with the increase in price and demand they started coming to the U.S. from overseas and Canada(?).

As far as how corkscrews were made Galen, I don't have a clue, All I can say is how did this become these?

post-64-0-37482400-1428516485_thumb.jpg

post-64-0-66731400-1428516531_thumb.jpg

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MFC closed in 1917.

The machine Akro patented in 1915 was not significantly different from the machine MFC used. Horace Hill took the machine designs from MFC and tweaked them -- not to improve the design but to be able to claim that he had a machine sufficiently different so that he could get his own patent on the tech he stole from MFC. It was later determined by a court that his machine wasn't different enough from MFC's and Akro shouldn't have gotten that patent.

If I recall correctly.

Even if the U.S. did help Japan out in the postwar era maybe the help took the form of machine designs, not necessarily the machines themselves.

Again, not sure where I got this impression, but for some reason I thought that part of the help the U.S. gave to other countries may have been in disseminating Hartford Empire tech.

If that's the case with Japan then it could be that the help the U.S. gave to Japan was to help them change over from transitionals which they may have had pre-war to gob fed marbles postwar.

And then Japan quickly jumped from that to cat's eyes.

Edited by Steph

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MFC closed in 1917.

The machine Akro patented in 1915 was not significantly different from the machine MFC used. Horace Hill took the machine designs from MFC and tweaked them -- not to improve the design but to be able to claim that he had a machine sufficiently different so that he could get his own patent on the tech he stole from MFC. It was later determined by a court that his machine wasn't different enough from MFC's and Akro shouldn't have gotten that patent.

If I recall correctly.

Even if the U.S. did help Japan out in the postwar era maybe the help took the form of machine designs, not necessarily the machines themselves . . . it could be that the help the U.S. gave to Japan was to help them change over from transitionals which they may have had pre-war to gob fed marbles postwar.

And then Japan quickly jumped from that to cat's eyes.

You do recall correctly.

But I haven't really looked into the post-WWII period, marble-wise. And am more familiar with our post-war assistance to Europe than to Japan. Is there direct marble- or glass-mentioning docs in connection to Japan?

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You are correct on both points Steph. M.F.C. did cease their marble making process in 1917. However, if we could look at it a little more in depth, we may find they did stay in business for a few more years in order to sell off any and all remaining inventories, ie: marbles, glass, machines and/or parts etc. before closing their doors for good. As for the Akro patent, I was only trying to point out that the era of the completely automated, machine made marbles, had arrived.

Ann: No documents that I can find.

thanks

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our government .. sic .. wanted l.e. alley to go to japan, to lazy to go get the date, he refused on health reasons ... art fisher allowed a mexican contigent to tour his plant. no camera's allowed ... they just memorized all they could and took the knowledge back to mexico and ... we see some of the results of that " visit" . dates are there, like i said ... lazy tunite . bill

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