Jump to content



Recommended Posts

Of course I have lots of patents bookmarked in different places to add as I come across them again. I intended to do something like this here, Legal Documents Pertaining To Marbles, but I'm starting over with this.

The first two topics are going to be a little offbeat and might end up getting relegated to a post further down. They're first because they are two of my most recent searches so they're fresh on my mind.

Marbles or other glass balls used in reflectors:

Listed in order of filing date but that wasn't sufficient. In process of adding more date info.

Note 1: list has "too many" non-spherical ones -- and even a non-glass example. might keep, might not. they show some of the "competition".

Note 2: no idea if I've found the best, earliest solid glass sphere examples. There are so many different ways they might have been described. So far I've only searched at google patents. I don't know if they have all the patents.

Note 3: there are later uses of glass spheres in reflector devices than what I've included. My search was mostly for info related to early automobile and highway reflectors.

Note 4: reminder to look for "glass balls" or "spheres" or whatnot in different contexts after the reflector search is over.

Note 5: it's possible that what I am looking for wouldn't have been called a "reflector". Maybe a "signal"? I need to approach this another way. Maybe read the patents. LOL. That way I can learn some more about the language, and maybe get some other leads.

1883: Patent #276428, Signal for Locomotive Head-Lights (this is a hollow glass ball filled with liquid)

Nov. 18, 1912: Patent #1054274, Sign (the Burleigh patent referred to below, "lens" are used, not marbles, refers to the casing structure in patent #1,030,499)

(awarded Feb. 25, 1913)

1925: Patent #1624300, Reflector-Jewel Mounting (not a marble, faceted)

Aug. 18, 1927: Patent #1785422, Highway Signal (uses translucent "red glass balls")

(awarded Dec. 16, 1930)

April 16, 1930: Patent #1817646, Highway Sign ("spherical balls which may be of red glass")

(awarded Aug. 4, 1931)

Reissued: Re. 18438

(April 26, 1932)

May 28, 1930: Patent #1933633, Reflector (something about mounting reflectors, might not specify shape of reflector buttons)

(awarded Nov. 7, 1933)

Oct. 8, 1930: Patent #1881588, Light Reflecting Unit (uses "a simple transparent glass sphere, as for example a glass marble")

(awarded Oct. 11, 1932)

1930: Patent #1858382, Reflector Button and Holding Means Therefor (not a marble, something molded to a special shape)

Mar 9, 1932: Patent #1955179, Illuminated Sign (uses buttons of some sort)

(awarded Apr 17, 1934)

July 30, 1932: Patent #2014558, Street Sign (This appears to be the patent "co-pending application" referred to in #1993595 below.)

(awarded Sept. 17, 1935)

Jan. 3, 1933: Patent #1993595, Light Reflecting Device (The language suggests this might be first item of this type to use ordinary toy marbles but see #1,881,588 above. #1,881,588 hadn't been awarded yet, so perhaps the inventor here was unaware the other had been filed. The inventor had a "co-pending application filed July 20, 1932". This patent refers to Burleigh Patent No. 1,054,274)

(awarded March 5, 1935)

1933: Patent #1974575, Reflecting Sign (not yet sure what the reflecting "unit" is here)

1935: Patent #2095932, Reflector Button (specially shaped)

June 24, 1935: Patent #2086314, Light Reflecting Device

(awarded July 6, 1937)

1937: Patent #2177920, Reflector (Resin, not glass)

1938: Patent #2242382, Reflector Button ("hemispherical" "lens")

1939: Patent #2200339, Translucent Display (uses "spherical translucent inserts")

1940: Patent #2314566, Reflector

1941: Patent #2294930, Reflex Light Reflector (starting to get complicated)

1942: Patent #2345644, Light Reflecting Sign or Marker

1942: Patent #2367154, Reflector Element

Marble shooters:

many patents coming soon (edit: well, obviously they didn't come "soon" -- but there sure have been a lot of 'em patented)

Others for later lists:

Aug. 12, 1890: Design #20104, Shipping and Exhibiting Case

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, that list of reflector patents started getting superlong, with lots of extra notes, because I never found THE patent I was looking for.

The goal of my original search was to find the originator(s) of reflecting devices using marbles.

However, I now realize I had a preconceived notion of what sort of device I wanted to see. I still haven't found a patent for such a device. Well, not a single patent.

But I did remember seeing patent information on a reflector sold on ebay, so I checked that out and found three dates. It appears that multiple patents were involved.

So far I have one match from above:

May 28, 1930:
Patent #1933633, Reflector
(something about mounting reflectors, might not specify shape of reflector buttons)

(awarded Nov. 7, 1933)




.... oops, have to go, I'll finish this later.

I don't know if this is a match for the 3rd patent, but it's cute:

July 20, 1933:
Patent #1946424, Direction Indicator
(check out the picture of the signal)

(awarded Feb. 6, 1934)

(not totallly sure what the 3rd date on the reflector is)

The June 18, 1929 patent might be tough to be sure about. It looks like an unusually large number of patents were awarded on this date. My experience isn't much so I don't know what's typical, but some of the patents awarded this day had been applied for in the 1830's.

possibilities for the June 18, 1929 patent:

Sept. 19, 1924:
Patent #1717544, Vehicle Lamp Signal
(bright idea of having headlights on both sides of the car instead of just in the middle, where you wouldn't be able to tell if an oncoming vehicle was a car or a motorcycle)

Jan. 7, 1924:
Patent #1717873, Journal Bearing
(don't know what this is, and don't recognize it in the photo but ... I could easily have missed something, and maybe the item in the photo is only one part of a larger item)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Results of a Peltier search. Haven't read them in detail yet.

Patent number: 508748

Filing date: Jun 10, 1892

Issue date: Nov 14, 1893


Machinery for rolling glass

Patent number: 787588

Filing date: Aug 18, 1904

Issue date: Apr 18, 1905


Art of working glass and mechanism therefor

Patent number: 1927650

Filing date: Jul 21, 1928

Issue date: Sep 19, 1933

Inventor: Sellers H. Peltier

Assignee: The Peltier Glass Company

Method of and device for making vitreous objects (Is this the NLR maker?)

Patent number: 1865787

Filing date: Aug 8, 1929

Issue date: Jul 5, 1932



Device for making vitreous like objects

Patent number: 1946879

Filing date: Feb 6, 1931

Issue date: Feb 1934

Inventor: Sellers H. Peltier

Means for and method of making agatized bodies (Is this a regular rainbo maker? - discusses color markings on the surface of the marble)

Patent number: 1972854

Filing date: Oct 13, 1933

Issue date: Sep 11, 1934

Inventor: George W. Angerstein

Method of applying indicia to rounded surfaces of small radius (This is the patent for picture marbles.)

Patent number: 2302886

Filing date: Sep 18, 1940

Issue date: Nov 24, 1942

Inventor: Sellers H. Peltier

Assignee: The Peltier Glass Company

Means for molding glass articles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Patents with Berry Pink connections (mosty not marbles)

Patent number: 1872640

Filing date: Apr 22, 1931

Issue date: Aug 1932

Inventor: Berry Pink

Assignee: The Rosenthal Co.

Compartment bag for marbles or the like

Patent number: 1945216

Filing date: Jan 10, 1933

Issue date: Jan 30, 1934

Inventor: Charles L. Dunham

Assignee: one-half to Berry Pink

Nut Lock

Patent number: D113878

Filing date: Dec 10, 1938

Issue date: Mar 21, 1939

Inventor: Berry Pink

Design for a pocket calendar

Patent number: D125354

Filing date: Oct 21, 1940

Issue date: Feb 18, 1941

Inventor: Berry Pink

Design for a display stand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morris Rosenthal patent(s)

Of course, Berry Pink's compartment bag patent belonged to the Rosenthal company. And then Morris Rosenthal is the inventor on this one. This is a cellophane package.

Patent number: 1983499

Filing date: Jan 20, 1934

Issue date: Dec 1934

Inventor: Rosenthal

Marble Package

Rosenthal trivia: As a jobber, Morris Rosenthal apparently had his foot solidly in the door of the marble business of the USA. For at least a few years. Not sure how long he stayed at the door or whether he really committed to walking over the threshhold. His brother Benjamin was HUGE in the playing card business though. Benjamin was even more of a king in cards than Pink was with marbles.

LOL ... yes, that's totally off topic. I just happen to find the Rosenthals intriguing. I can't help suspecting that their success was a challenge to Berry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Marble Shooters:

just a start ... going to keep going until I recognize one like Pinx posted at Marble Mental ... or until I wander away ;-)

Most of the information is copied from the main Google Patents page for each patent. I've caught a few typos, and a couple of places where the info on the main page was incomplete. For example, there might have been more inventors than were credited on the main page. I haven't checked all of those.

Patent number: 146563

Filing date: Oct 18, 1873

Issue date: Jan 20, 1874


Patent number: 174780

Filing date: Jan 2, 1876

Issue date: Mar 14, 1876


Assignee: Albert D. Laws

Patent number: 184717

Filing date: Apr 25, 1876

Issue date: 1876

Inventor: ALBERT D. LAWS

Patent number: 262644

Filing date: Mar 31, 1882

Issue date: Aug 1882


Patent number: 379913

Filing date: Jan 19, 1888

Issue date: Mar 1888


Assignee: William F. Cramer

Patent number: 464407

Filing date: Apr 22, 1891

Issue date: Dec 1, 1891

Inventor: Charles E. Wilkinson and Gustav O. Wendell

Patent number: 472608

Filing date: Oct 29, 1891

Issue date: Apr 12, 1892


Patent number: 496539

Filing date: Jul 2, 1892

Issue date: May 2, 1893


Patent number: 518295

Filing date: Mar 16, 1893

Issue date: Apr 17, 1894


Patent number: 552634

Filing date: Oct 14, 1895

Issue date: Jan 7, 1896

Inventor: Walter E. Everitt

Patent number: 582474

Filing date: Nov 10, 1896

Issue date: May 11, 1897


Gameboard, with a marble shooter in it.

Patent number: 1302378

Filing date: Oct 23, 1916

Issue date: Apr 1919

Inventor: Kennedy

Patent number: 1337934

Filing date: Jan 14, 1919

Issue date: Apr 1920

Inventor: Madison

Patent number: 1543144

Filing date: Apr 9, 1925

Issue date: Jun 1925

Inventor: Wurm

Patent number: 2129461

Filing date: Jan 19, 1933

Issue date: Sep 1938

Inventor: Earl A. Boerger

Patent number: 1988191

Filing date: May 2, 1934

Issue date: Jan 1935

Inventor: Donato

Patent number: 2279766

Filing date: Jun 6, 1940

Issue date: Apr 1942

Inventor: Truesdell

Patent number: 2600883

Filing date: Dec 23, 1947

Issue date: Jun 1952

Inventor: Frederick H. King

(plunger guide for marble shooters)

Patent number: 2601070

Filing date: Oct 16, 1950

Issue date: Jun 1952

Inventor: Teschel et al.

Patent number: 2791210

Filing date: Jan 4, 1955

Issue date: May 1957

Inventor: Vog et al.

Patent number: 3183903

Filing date: May 16, 1963

Issue date: May 1965

Inventor: John O. Thompson

Patent number: D201692

Filing date: Jan 11, 1965

Issue date: Jul 1965

Inventor: Edmund R. Braun

Patent number: 4978124

Filing date: Oct 16, 1989

Issue date: Dec 18, 1990

Inventors: Robert L. Brown, Robert D. Shilen, Robert F. Rosnak

Assignee: The Quaker Oats Company

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Regarding the Peltier patents above, the one that you asked if it was for the NLR's, I believe was used for the "Miller" swirls. The one that you asked if it was for the regular rainbos, was used for the NLR's.

mike b.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding the Peltier patents above, the one that you asked if it was for the NLR's, I believe was used for the "Miller" swirls. The one that you asked if it was for the regular rainbos, was used for the NLR's.

mike b.

Oh dear. Do we have to go through this again? Sure, why not. Hi Migbar!

Steph, check back through the archived threads for "Idle question for an expert," re the patent Mike thinks was used for the "Miller" swirls . . .

I still respectfully (and fondly) disagree!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Patents and other items involving the name "Miller", to be sorted later.

1. Process and apparatus for feeding glass

Inventor: William J. Miller

Assignee: Hartford Empire Company

Patent number: 1717802

Filing date: Jan 31, 1921

Issue date: Jun 18, 1929

2. Machine for Manufacturing Marbles and Similar Articles

Inventor: William J. Miller

Assignee: Victor J. Greene

Patent number: 1601699

Filing date: Dec 12, 1924

Issue date: Sep 28, 1926

3. Was this the one which is called THE Hartford-Empire patent?

Process and Apparatus for Feeding Glass

Inventor: William J. Miller

Assignee: Hartford

Patent number: 1942035

Filing date: Dec 20, 1929

Issue date: Jan 2, 1934

Material still to be sorted:

Some history as told in 1948

Marble making machinery is mentioned in connection with the William J. Miller Company in Golden Progress: History and Official Program of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Swissvale, Pennsylvania, 1898-1948. I hadn't realized he had his own company. Was he also affiliated with any particular marble manufacturer?

The book online is broken into parts. The marble mention is on p. 81, found in Part 7.

Title page: Part 2

(click to enlarge - it's kinda large, might need to double click to get to full size)


Mr. Miller had many patents on glass. Plugging in the keywords, miller, glass and swissvale at the Google patents page pulls up many entries.


Leave out the word "glass" and you get bunches more. He apparently did a lot of work with pottery also. And had a "pottery engineering company", also in Swissvale?

Which if any of his other patents might be connected with marble making?

Reminder to self: Did we once have something specific about a Miller machine being used by a lithographer?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure thing.

If anything in that batch explains the "Miller swirls", I don't know about it. I can't remember seeing anyone explain the Pelts which go so wild that you might not be able to find their seams.

That's where it seems the problem with the Miller legend is, if I understand correctly. Miller made machines ... but did they have anything to do with swirly Pelts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess everyone needs to make there own decisions on that but it looks like miller was designing and modifing machines starting in 1911. I will read all this several time pretty slow going.Thanks again Stacy

Some additional dates:

I'm fairly sure - pretty much certain - that Miller wasn't making marble machines at the beginning.

Martin F. Christensen filed the patent for his groundbreaking glass marble making machine in 1902. Blobs of glass would be dropped by workers onto the machine, and the machine would make them round.

Akro was the 2nd company in the U.S. to use machines to manufacture marbles. They started making marbles in 1914, with machine designs stolen from Martin Christensen.

I assume that whichever marble machines Miller made would have been built with technology he learned and/or developed after 1914. Before that time, Martin Christensen had a pretty solid monopoly on the market.

To the best of my understanding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just saying that millers glass company opened in 1911 and for 10 years M.F.C.had been making money selling marbles and I was thinking that everybody was trying to one up the other guy so he was thinking about or sneaking around to get info about machines years before he opened a glass company. The same with akro all the spying going on. Didn't akro have a patent on corkscrews and most of the machines were making swirled types slags and everyone trying to come up with something different. All this spectulation is addictive. Thanks for the info.Stacy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glass was big business - all kinds of glass articles. Miller had plenty to keep himself busy without and/or before branching into machines which made spheres.

I don't think there was the kind of marble espionage which you might be imagining at that time. The person who stole the designs from MFC was a trusted family friend and an officer of the company.

One thing to keep in mind is that much of Miller's emphasis was on how to feed glass into/onto the devices which would shape the final product. That was good for much more than marbles.

A possibly interesting question would be to track down the companies Miller sold marble machines to. That 1948 story specifically mentioned toy marbles but most toy marbles were made in West Virginia, and didn't most West Virginia companies make their machines locally? I wonder if Miller's clients might have tended to have more of an industrial bent.

For instance, from whom did people who made things such as fiber glass ingots get their machines?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I phrased that wrong. I made it sound like I thought the marble companies made their own machines. I was thinking about them using local machinists. Lots of the 1940's machines seem traceable to one particular WV shop, iirc.

Tell us more about the Miller machines Peltier had. Also, I'm still fuzzy on what constitutes a "machine"? Rollers, tanks, feeders? Varies depending on context?

Link to comment
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
  • Create New...