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Note: might need to double click some of the images throughout the thread to get full sizes.

New note: Clicking was supposed to send you to a larger picture. It doesn't seem to now. I have a lot of editing to do. If there is anything you are in a hurry to see a bigger copy of drop me a line and I'll try to get it to you.

(click pix to enlarge)

Master 1932:

MasterFlyer3a-2.jpg . . . MasterFlyer3b-1.jpg

Master 1933:

MasterFlyer1a-1.jpg . . . MasterFlyer1b-1.jpg

Year ?? (if I read correctly prices are significantly higher than in the 1932 list above)

MasterFlyer2a-1.jpg . . . MasterFlyer2b-1.jpg

better detail on the Ritzy bag:


to be continued ...

Edited by Steph
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M. F. Christensen booklet:

(click to enlarge)

MFCBooklet1cover-1.jpg . . . MFCBooklet2SummaryOfLine-1.jpg

MFCBooklet3RegularPacking-1.jpg . . . MFCBooklet4pp2_3-1.jpg

MFCBooklet5pp4_5-1.jpg . . . MFCBooklet6pp6_7-1.jpg

MFCBooklet7pp8_9-1.jpg . . . MFCBooklet8pp10_11-1.jpg

bonus material :-)

A possible "travelers' sample box" recently sold on ebay. Found in an estate sale in Kentucky, across the Ohio river from Cincinnati, for $5. The 5/8" marble is missing but would fit perfectly if present.



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(click pix to enlarge)

Circa 1912? (has an Akron address; this might be the one from the Amercan Boy magazine for Dec. 1912)


Circa 1916 - ? (possibly the first Clarksville box)


Jan 1929 -- Imperial Circular

akroimperialadp1-2.jpg akroimperialadp2-1.jpg akroimperialadp3-1.jpg

April 1929 -- Cracker Jack promotion

crackerjackads-2.jpg . . . crackerjackads2-2.jpg

a few extras. A coupon which might have come in a Cracker Jack box, and what is said to be a Cracker Jack prize from 1928. The wrapper says "Genuine Agate". Supposedly the "right" marble to find in the wrapper is a red and blue swirl. This is according to a Cracker Jack specialist, not an Akro specialist.

th_CJAAGATE_016-1.jpg th_CJAAGATE_017-1.jpg th_1928_CJ_RedBlueSwirl.jpg

July 1929 -- Jobbers Price List

1929_07_01_AkroJobbersPriceList_-1.jpg 1929_07_01_AkroJobbersPriceList_-2.jpg

Jan. 1934 -- "the new Akro Carnelian":

Playthings_Jan1934-1.jpg NewAkroCarnelian_Jan1934-1.jpg

Jan. 1935 -- Visi Paks

1935_01_Visipak_Playthings-1.jpg 1935_Jan_VisiPak_Playthings-1.jpg

Live and in color:


Related patent:


Sept. 1936 -- Pop-Eye Packages:

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.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is an 1892 Butler Bros catalog ad. It has a lot of information packed into it, some sort of hidden.

(click to enlarge)


The first time I saw it, I wondered about the Spangles name. Colorful vocabulary is fun to sort out. I posted about that and Dave made a good case for them being onionskins.

It was later that I learned this is an historic ad. It is the earliest reference of which I am aware for marbles being packaged for sale in bags.

And recently Brian pointed out to me that the clay marbles advertised at the bottom would have been made in Akron. I hadn't thought of the significance of the "made in America" statement before that.

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Gary, no one would object.

Rhonda, only the worst scan on the page is mine -- the cracker jack akro. (lol) and a few are from ebay. And Paula pointed me to that Visi-pak patent.

The better pix I've been posting have been donated for the purpose of furthering knowledge. Maybe someone will take the info here, make some connections, follow some leads, and return with more info.

The more we know about, and the more people we have making connections and following leads, the more likely that good information will be found in the future. Like with the California Agates. So little is known about that company. But now more people at least know that it exists. If you find an article on it in an obscure magazine you know there will be interest. If you ever see a museum brochure advertising the "Frank Walker" collection ... maybe you'll look a little closer than you might have otherwise. who knows what might turn up ....

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Sorry for the on/off topic, but I, for one, am greatly relieved to find out that Cracker Jack gives the teeth and gums their needed exercise! :D

Yes, old ads are quite fun for that sort of comment, aren't they.

The "most healthful sweet".

I remember an ad from a later time which advertised sugar content as a benefit for kids -- as in the simple fact that a drink contained sugar. Good after school energy source, or some such thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's another great one someone gave me a lead on. Maybe it should have gone in the handmades thread.

A list of Lion Coffee Premiums dated 1897, with some sweet marbles. A stone agate, 2 latts, 2 bennies and a china.

(click to enlarge)

1897_LionCoffeePremiums_byranlad-1.jpg 1897_LionCoffeePremiums_flipside-1.jpg 1897_LionCoffeePremiums_Mibs-1.jpg

Here's some background on Lion Coffee advertising, The Lion Coffee Saga. Notice that the Woolson Spice Co. had been well known for its premiums for some years, but 1896 is given as the year the company launched an advertising campaign of epic proportions.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This Master ad is from Jan 1931. I've posted it before but at the time I didn't realize how very early that was in the company's history.

According to AMMM, the company started making marbles in May 1930 and first shipped in Oct. 1930, yet the ad is written as if they have an established track record of sales. "Preferred above all others by the marble-shooting 'stars' of boydom". I love it!

(click on link below the thumbnail)



Next comes a Christensen ad ... unless someone beats me in with someone else first.

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Did I say Christensen?

Well, so did they. :) They being the B. Illfelder & Company, "sole agents for Christensen's Onyx Marbles". The date is January 1916. Charles Christensen was head of the company at this time.

What would we call MFC's now if the Christensen Agate Co hadn't co-opted the name?

(click to enlarge)


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If the timing's acceptable to add another 'half on-topic' post, I'd like to clip one of Steph's neat ads and comment.

(I've always winced when people try to give 'levels of degree' to words which don't have them. Like "Very Unique Marble!". 'Unique' is 'unique', dang it! Can't be a little or a lot!)

("The illegitimate-child-ization of the English language will be the downfall of us all!", I yell out in possibly-pretentious but I'm still right anger.)

But seeing that last "In all the world..." line in this ad, my immediate response was "That's gotta be, like, the most truest thing I've ever read!" Cheers, Bob :lol:

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  • 1 month later...

:) to Ron.

And a belated LOL to Bob.

I have a whole lot of different reactions to the hyperbole in the old ads. Most of the time I find them charming. Sometimes I laugh out loud. Sometimes I get caught up in trying to figure out if it really was an exaggeration or just how much of an exaggeration it was. That's what happened to me with that particular box. :wacko:

11 marbles for ten cents sounds like a lot of money! ... you know, considering it was 83 years ago. But I don't know enough about costs in the 20's. Maybe 10 cents was perfectly in line with the cost of manufacturing especially considering quality of the marbles.

Anyway ... I'm bumping now coz I plan to add a couple of ads. brb.

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Here is a beautiful 1931 ad George Sourlis sent because of the box of California Agates. It's from the Tracy-Wells Co. catalog. Awesome graphics. And it's cool to see an earlier date on the Acme Realers and Peerless Patches than I had before.

(Click to enlarge)


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The Tracy-Wells ad is another puzzle to me for the wholesale pricing details. Was Tracy-Wells actually a wholesale merchandiser? Or more like some of our modern discount warehouses which aren't really? The fancy illustrations do make it look a little upscale. no?

For comparson here's an ad which I've seen from a couple of sources but I don't think I've ever seen a company name for. Galen said it was from 1933.

Here's the gigantic version Galen posted (924 kb) which we lost during a space crunch:

(click to enlarge)


Smaller, 268 kb version

Or for a quick comparison, here is a clip of the Rainbo box:

(click to enlarge)


For another example, at 20 cents apiece the California agates are at least as high as the retail of the period. There were news reports on thefts from Calif. Agate in early 1930 and late 1931. The 1930 report valued the stolen marbles at 10 cents each. The 1931 report valued tham at 5 cents each.

For another example, the Tracy-Wells peerless prices are the same as the NLR prices at a Wisconsin hardware store in 1931, and the realer prices are even higher.

(click to enlarge)

th_1931_03_29_SunsetAgates_Wisconsin.jpg th_post-279-1189046905.jpg

The ad is still awesome! I'm just not sure what was meant by "wholesale".

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  • 2 months later...

Here's another ad from George. I know this is one I'll be referring to a lot. Some of the new info for me is where it places Akro's original Tri-color agates in 1930 (i.e., the mibs we call "specials" today). And it calls 'em Rainbow! Plus it's got fun Pelt stuff and more, including a Calif. Agate reference, which is why George sent it. :-)

(click to enlarge)


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