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Berry Pink Timeline


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A place to bring together different accounts, some now split between a few recent threads on the board.

And a place to attempt to reconcile some of the numbers. Or at least note points of conflict.

Some Berry Pink references, roughly in chronological order by content, not posting order, so there might be odd jumps in how much history is known from thread to thread:

Backfilling A Box (at least some 1930's packaging here)

Berry Pink Marbles Help Needed (looks like Ray won these from Joe. :-)

Berry Pink Autograph Letter? (1938)

A Kansas boy was in a tourney in California. Had he travelled a long distance for a tourney? or was his father there for the work and he was out there with his dad? I've saved the seller's short version of the text of the letter. Plan is to post it here.)



Berry Pink -- A Legend In The Making, Article from 1941 *link checked

Berry Pink Single Marble Box -shooter Agate

Marbles Article, 1955, Sports Illustrated (mentions the tariff issue -- that was a big deal that year)

Paden City Pelt Findings?

Berry Pink Marbles In 1973?

conspicuous omission: anything about the marbles known as Berry Pinks ... I don't know when those were made.

This is the one which sparked my fascination with Berry Pink:

Marble King Trophy, Berry Pink Tournament Item

quick notes -- I've seen references to different sizes of city trophies in 1940. 12 inches, and then 16 or 18 or both. I cannot recall right now. Part of why I need a place like this thread to keep track. I haven't seen a 14-inch mention yet in the newspapers, or else I'd be posting straight in the that tourney trophy thread. For now I'm just making notes.

The 150 contestants in New York might mean only half of the city winners had sponsors willing to pay their way, or ... it might mean that the 300 number mentioned in different papers was somehow in error.

Roto was the game in 1940 and 1941. It seems not to have caught on, hmm? I'm pretty sure any of his tournaments before 1940 would have had the same game as the Scripps-Howard tournaments, that is, Ringer.

The war and the 1942 move to glass marbles by the Scripps Howard tournament might have worked against any big plans Pink had for his tournament, if indeed he had any beyond 1940 or 1941.

The 1940 Worlds Fair brochure gives some figures for earlier tourneys. And the Pic article in the Legend thread has some important info too, at least taken in context.

I have a Christian Science Monitor article from 1937.

And something which appeared in the LA Times in 1936.

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  • 1 year later...

Here is an interesting biographical piece. It has errors. For example the birthdate is wrong, and one glaring omission is his affiliation with Rosenthal. But it's still kinda cool. The radio information is new to me. I'm inclined to believe that part's true.

My transcription from the book isn't perfect. I didn't have a good copy to look at. I might try to clean it up later.

Who's Who in American Jewry, Vol. 3

Julius Schwartz, Solomon Aaron Kaye, John Simons

Jewish Biographical Bureau, 1939

p. 815

Pink, Berry, mfr. Born Passaic, N.J., Aug. 18, 1900,

s. Meyer and Anna (Horowitz) P, Ed. U. of Pa.: grad.

Princeton Coll. 1919; attended U.S. Naval Acad.

Enlisted in U.S. Navy as 2nd class seaman 1917:

commd ensign 1917; discharged as sr grade lieut 1921;

as head of War Risk Insurance Bureau, 3rd Naval Dist.

responsible for conversion of millions of dollars worth

of military insurance into present day forms of

insurance, 1918-19. Asso.'d with John Aspegren, mfr

of tank cars, N.Y. City, 1921-22, in U.S. Intelligence

Dept 1922-33. Since 1934 engaged in manufacture of

glass marbles and reflectors; pres. Berry Pink, Inc., and

US Reflector Corp.; inventor of patented devices

employing toy marbles as reflectors in animated and

illuminated signs, road markers (in use in 30 states

in U.S.), R.R. signals, lithography, airway beacons,

automobile reflectors, etc. Has studied the history

of marbles from their earliest appearance as playthings;

has collection of 3800 marbles (some gold, silver, bronze

or amber and 1000 years old) which has been exhibited

in sch.'s and museums throughout U.S.; author book, Romance

of Marbles, 1937; broadcasts talks on marble playing

and on clean sportsmanshiop and fair play over stations

WJZ and WABC and over nation-wide hookup. Mem.: Toy Mfg Assn,

Y.M.H.A. Club: Army and Navy Officers. Synagogue:

B'nai Jacob. Home: 74 Lincoln St, Passaic, N.J.

Office: 101 W. 31st St, N.Y. City.

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  • 3 weeks later...

August 18, 1897

Berry Pink appears to have been Pink's original name. I wasn't sure because his name showed up in different ways in the censuses. In one census his name is given as Benjaman, for example. But for now 'Berry' is looking correct. This is what I have to start him off.

Berry Pink

New Jersey Births and Christenings, 1660-1980

birth: 18 Aug 1897 — Passaic City, Passaic, New Jersey

residence: New Jersey, United States

parents: Meyer Pink, Annie Horwitz

I'm still curious about some of the name changes. Do they mean middle names? Or ?? His family members' names also changed from census to census. He had a brother who went by both Isreal, Irving and Erwin/Irwin. Makes me wonder if I'm getting a tiny glimpse into how immigrant families assimilated into the culture. Or if maybe they just changed their names from time to time, just because. I know that happened too. Kids grow up. They get tagged with different names.

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January 2, 1920

Beery (sic) Pink, age 22, lives at 74 Lincoln St. in Passaic with his family.

Occupation: salesman, silk co.

48-year-old Meyer is a hotel proprietor. 47-year-old Anna is not employed. 23-year-old Louis is a hotel clerk. 18-year-old Irving is a manager of a cloak store. 15-year-old Evelyn appears to still be in school.

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April 8, 1930

Berry Pink, age given as 30, is said to reside at 74 Lincoln St. His mother is now the head of household. Brother Erwin and Erwin's wife (can't make out the name) also live there.

Berry's occupation: Executive for a rubber mill. (That would be Morris Rosenthal's rubber mill.)

He says he's a veteran of the World War.

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June 25, 1962

The New York Times reports the passing of the Marble King. In case it is not apparent, some of the biographical information is wrong.

(click for larger version - might have to double click depending on your browser)


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November 1932

Berry Pink is mentioned in a Playthings Magazine article as the sales manager for the Rosenthal Company, and as the inventor of that double compartment bag. The bag was apparently a hit in the 1931/32 season.

I have a partial copy of the article. Post #5 in this thread, Rosenthal Dates -- A 1932 Article, gives one possible reading of the missing pieces. I think I at least have the gist right anyway.

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June 24, 1949

The Marble King company is incorporated in St. Marys, WV. The incorporators on record are Berry Pink, Lucius Coleman and Adele Rubin. Sellers Peltier is also reported to have been a partner early on.

They are using the old Alley plant which Berry Pink acquired from Lawrence Alley "for the sum of $5.00 and other good and valuable considerations ..."

For a time they sold left over Alleys under the Marble King label, possibly also selling Peltier marbles under the label. Alley swirls show up in Marble King ads as late as 1954.

The plant manager was Roger Howdyshell, who would later own the company.

Pink handled sales and promotions from his base in New York.

Source: American Machine-Made Marbles, Six, Metzler and Johnson

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