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So Whats The Scoop On Peltier Rootbeer Floats


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I see Marble Alan has a 1" RB Float for sale -

I know how well Bob Block and Alan get along - :Sad_headshake_tweetz: but Blocks books state the floats were only made during a 1 day run in the 11/16" to the 7/8th" size - I know Block is usually wrong - but is there some news on these?

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Best to ask Alan himself.

Posted on: Oct 19 2007, 09:06 AM

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Joined: 15-June 05

From: Kansas

Member No.: 38

Noticed this info on an eBay auction today. The seller has been putting on Nova's for quite awhile and is linked to Peltier somehow.

Here's the info from the auction listing:

(start quote)

This is a nice White n Orange Nova made by Peltier Glass Company.

I have included information from an email which was sent to me

by one of the 2 men who built the feeder for the Nova's and the Rootbeer Float.

This marble size is aprox 13/16".


Marbles from same week as Rootbeer Float 10-27-1988

Stripe Base

------ ------

1. orange white

2. orange black

3. white black

4. blue white

5. white amber The Rootbeer Float

Others with blended colors were from the beginning and end of the runs.

There was only the one run for each of these marbles (Rootbeer Float & Novas). This was cumulative of a believe 5 days running with each run lasting one day.

10-27-1988 was one of the days the group was run, this I'm positive because, I bagged a small bag the next day when cooled and wrote the date on them.

I still have that unopened bag, which was the white base with orange stripe. (end quote)

Interesting history.



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For the straight skinny on this special one day run at Peltier check out my article on Marble Mental titled NOVAS, ROOT BEER FLOATS and PINK CHAMPAGNES, etc. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know. My buddy Russell Coppel commissioned this run and I am intimately familiar with the eight different marbles that were made, all approx. 15/16".

There was only one that was called a NOVA; it was not a group-heading for some of the other marbles, although

there are three marbles in the group of eight that are Nova-like. You need to read and see the photo-article to understand.

Also you can check the WVMCC newsletter or their CD which contains the same article. Save yourself some trouble.

David Chamberlain

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I've seen some different sizes given for them. I am pretty sure I have seen one offered which was over an inch. And it was by someone credible. Alan or Block. Both make some mistakes, but I guess I trust them on rootbeer floats or others made at Peltier that day.

11/16" is smaller than anything I've seen or any story I've heard though. 11/16" are pretty firmly ruled out whenever anyone asks about them. And they do come up relatively often. There are some possibly-foreign master-like banana-y mibs which tend to be about that size. They get a "no" verdict as Rootbeer Floats.

edit: Block's BOOK says 11/16"? ??

I say "nova family" because it is natural to think of the marbles made with the novas on that day as related. It is my compromise between the purists and those who are inclined to call the whole run "novas". I understand that only one of the marbles in the run was a nova.

What I still don't understand is about the other marbles besides the original 8 which are reported by credible people to be part of the extended family. Made on a later date, I gather.

Wow, Galen just posted an awesome pair of pix at LOM: Rootbeer Floats. They are described as 1". They were made in 9/13/88 -- BEFORE THE NOVA RUN.

edit: no they are not described as 1". They are described as an experiment for a 1" Rainbow. (Rainbow? that's what it looks like -- but looks like someone may have tried to rub the last letter out)

While I'm linkin', here's David's article at MM: Root Beer Floats, Novas, and Pink Champagnes, Peltier Marble Company

Here's my index to most of David's articles at MM: index. Since he's actively posting now, there are some new threads which will need to be added, such as current cat's eye threads. But those are still being added to in the main forum.

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Alan's present 1" example. (He might have the date of production wrong, but the date has generally been unclear anyway.)


an 11/16" one someone is currently selling and calling a pelt rootbeer float:


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Sometimes when we've a 15/16"+ we're inclined to call it 1" not for any reasons of inflation; it just seems natural 1" being such a standard size. Most of the marbles(the 8 of them) were 15/16" but it is not a surprise that some of them were 1" or even 15/16"- but I never saw anything like an 11/16" in the many 50lb boxes that Russell Coppel had of

these marbles.

Now I have had a 5/8" or 5/8"+ Root Beer Float with minimal provenance which put it back in the 40s/50s period. I was always perplexed by that marble. And I had a double-ingot RBF that blew my mind. Not from the Coppel special run though.

For some reason Mike Johnson's book AMERICAN MACHINE-MADE MARBLES pg. 131 shows the date of the run as Oct. 27, 1988 and then in the very next paragraph he appears to reference the same run and puts it in 1989. I have no idea what's

up with that. Next chance I get I'm sounding out Russell and maybe also getting some more history on the run. He was there at the time, in fact, he got run out at one point if you can believe it. He drove back from IL to CA with all that weight. On the same trip he had a box of sweet little pristine German Swirls with sharp pontils. They were totally frosted when he got to Santa Cruz CA. He 'bout died on seeing that. .....David

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just possible a 5/8" example could have come from the 30' or 40's during the rainbow runs - some of Peltiers glass was rather brownish and the white conceivably could have gone below surface to form a blade in the glass - those would not be from the RBF run though - but still a neat one to have.

I have some bananas in red glass - so those are "cherry floats" ?? - if the glass were brown - I could see naming them RBF.

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edit: Block's BOOK says 11/16"? ??

I double checked Blocks book (the more recent Red and White one) before I posted to get the sizes he said the run was, right before I posted - I am not at home now to double check - but yes - those were the sizes he claimed.

I always wondered because when I stumbled across mine - it was a little bigger than 11/16" - but I was sure it was a RBF - there is just nothing else like them.

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Yep, he sure says it. p. 114 of the 4th edition of Marbles: Identification and Price Guide.

Well, I'll definitely take David's accounts over Block's. Do you really think that none over 7/8" had been found when he wrote that? I don't. I think he just got it wrong.

An 11/16" mib which dropped out of a 1" machine? I received a few boxes of unsorted Jabos in the roughly 3/4" size. A very small number of them were almost as small as 5/8", but all of those had issues. The difference between 11/16" and 15/16" ... it's hard to see how something that small run on an inch machine would come out with good shape.

I'm afraid that I do think there is a way to mistake an 11/16" mib for a Rootbeer float. :unsure: How close to you think that 11/16" mib I posted above looks. I can see how someone might mistake it for a rootbeer float. I don't think it is though. I think it is more likely to be related to those "moldy mibs" or "shield mibs" that some have posted before.

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I think the machine that the root beer floats were made on is actually a 7/8" marble machine, and adjustable to make marbles most comfortably from 3/4" to 1". While it may be possible to make a smaller one on the machine, the 11/16" marble that Steph shows above does not look like a root beer float to me. All the root beer floats I've seen are between 15/16" and maybe 1 and 3/1000".

mike b.

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so how did a 1" machine run manage such a wide variety of sizes? this is perplexing maybe they slowly opened or closed the diameter of the flow during the run??? I dunno how that stuff works.

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so how did a 1" machine run manage such a wide variety of sizes? this is perplexing maybe they slowly opened or closed the diameter of the flow during the run??? I dunno how that stuff works.

Well Mike said it was a 7/8" machine. The 1" would be at the top of its range. P.s. Mike B. has very good sources!

Main thing is that just the one size of machine was involved. So the 7/8" give or take was the size of the run. And 11/16" would have been too much "take".

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LOL. Sorry. I realize I didn't answer your question.

I just got snagged on the technicality of you saying 1" and Mike B. saying 7/8".

I'll let someone else address how the plus or minus would have been accomplished.

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LOL some more. I didn't see that you had quoted Mike R. and were asking about the small marbles he is showing. I didn't even see Mike R. had posted. Sorry Mike R, I gotta go with Mike B on these. He knows whereof he speaks.

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I'm making it a point to have a set of the eight different ones with me at the Amana show + a cpl. extra Novas.

Almost all of the black on white ones had annealing surface fractures. Similiar problem with the blue on white.

Also and rather interestingly many of the Root Beer Floats had tiny surface bubble trails. More like just sub-surface.

They had the appearance much like what's-his-names 'Planet' marbles. Oh yeah, Josh Simpson and they're called Inhabited Planets.

That was a run with considerable planning as Russell Coppel had definite parameters(colors and designs) that he wanted accomplished. And, of course, size! .....David Chamberlain

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Yes, Gino should have a handle on Peltier matbles but Gawd knows what configurations Bob Block may have done upon receipt of any marbles from Gino.

The photo unfortunately doesn't blow-up well for full individual distinguishing and I would have to say that at the most it's a group of 13 marbles with some of the basic eight and variations thereof. The Pink Champagne isn't in there at all. And the far right one in the middle row with green -NO WAY.

I must reiterate that my article covers it correctly and this group of 13 has the unfortunate experience of being brought to you through the filter of Bob Block. He has his strengths but this isn't one of them!

David Chamberlain

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Here's a bigger copy of the pic Al posted.


I noticed that about no Pink Champagne in Block's photo. Had fun trying to count how many distinct family members this would add up to when taken together with this pic you showed of the original 8 in your article.


The one on the middle right of the Block photo doesn't look particularly green to me. But Carole has one which came across as very green in her pix (below). Carole knows hers is not from the original 8. However, it is a Pelt and was said to be part of the later runs of the larger Nova family, in the broad sense of the term. If I understand correctly.


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It's too bad that my photo of the eight doesn't exhibit the Pink Champagne in all its glorious pinkness(front left one) but I just wasn't capturing the light right that day. The Pink Champagnes are a delight, a light transparent pink with crystal clarity. I only have two here in Albq.; the rest in CA. Won't be getting them 'till Sept. '09 when I visit for 3 weeks.

To emphasize the specificness (Like that word?) of the eight, it was clearly Russell Coppel's intention to sell them in boxed sets of eight but Russell just didn't follow through on things like that and wound up selling the marbles wholesale/bulk. I got most of mine on trade.

So with that thought of the basic eight(8) in mind it is not out of the question that there could be anomalies popping up from the run generally characterized as the Nova Run. Still for purposes of consistency and historical accuracy Russell did provide Peltier with color and pattern parameters which he wished them to adhere to so that he could have an outstanding group to sell in boxed sets.

I do recall somewhat (Heck, this was 20 years ago!) some purplish hew sneaking into those B&W ones. Some hybrid mix. Gee, even amongst the few Paul Bunyan varieties there are some examples that do not fall into line and for wont of a name could be classified as hybrid.

Remember, this is marbles we're talking about!!! Just take a gander at the Jabo runs of the past year! David

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i suppose this is the proper place to insert some old images of the set of Peltiers i won back in october of 05 from Pete’s Marbelous News giveaway on LOM. these were donated by none-other-than David Chamberlain...the Pink Champagne doesn’t look nearly as nice in these pics as it really is...

post-150-1242939059_thumb.jpg post-150-1242939074_thumb.jpg

here’s a couple of those green-patched marbles that have been perhaps MIS-identified as Novas (images shown here only to help confirm proper identification):


  • the description of the first set was given as “This pair of more recent vintage measure 29/32” and 15/16” in diameter. Each has an opaque black base with one having translucent green patches with bits of unmelted sand...”
  • the bottom one was described as “Nova. This one is known as an Eclipse. One of the hardest types of Novas to find. Opaque black base. Two narrow ribbons. One red, other very light green. These were a limited run in 1979...31/32”"

if these black w/green patches aren't Peltiers, what then? they appear to be about the size of the Pink Champagnes (slightly smaller than the Novas and Rootbeer Floats).

what think ye?

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  • 11 years later...

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