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Vitro Confettis


Steph
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Here's an article quoted from the Land of Marbles Newsletter. David, is there anything you would add to this or correct? I'll see what pix I can find and post 'em if no one beats me to the punch. Hope someone beats me to the punch! (p.s., I mentioned David because I know he has seen the confettis in person. But anyone else sure is welcome to comment. I know others have seen 'em too!)

The Vitro Confetti is an obscure marble known primarily from a fleeting reference in the "Greenberg's Guide to Marbles." The guide shows a pretty marble with a transparent base, speckled with a rainbow of colors. It was an experimental marble that was never introduced to market. As per the first edition of the Guide, they were produced in transparent clear and opaque black in 5/8" and 7/8" in 1984. Dot colors were white, red, orange, yellow, blue, turquoise, and green. They are described as "experimental" and "not in production yet." In the second edition, Greenberg's Guide says the sizes were 1 & 3/16" and 3/4" on one page, and 5/8" and 7/8" on another. The second edition also states that the type was made with a transparent clear green base as well. Pretty confusing!

In the Fall of 2001, things began to clear up when marble collector Raelyn Dolton was put in touch with Tim Sullivan and purchased much of the archives and marble samples remaining from Vitro Agate. Tim and former Vitro Agate Plant Manager Richard J. "Dick" Ryan had purchased Vitro Agate out of bankruptcy and moved it to Anacortes, Washington in 1987. (Vitro Agate began operations in 1932 in Parkersburg, West Virginia and changed hands several times before ceasing operations in 1993.) Mr. Sullivan was the one that closed the factory and he had many Vitro items from Parkersburg as well as from the Anacortes days. Included among the find were the "famous" Confetti marbles!

The Vitro Confetti marbles were made by sprinkling bits of 'frit' (crushed glass cullet, which had been obtained from Germany) on the still-plastic (malleable) marbles after they drop onto the rollers. The cullet was pushed into the marbles by the rollers, where they stuck, partially melting into the base glass, securing them. Most have spots about the size of Vacor's speckled marbles, maybe a bit bigger, but some also have a fine spray of tiny, tiny spots, apparently made with finer bits of frit. Some have only 2 or 3 spots, some are more heavily speckled.

Mr. Lewis Moore (Vitro Agate plant superintendent for 40 years, dating back to 1950) made approximately fifty 1 & 1/4" clear glass multi-color Confetti marbles in a limited run at the Parkersburg, WV plant. This is the Confetti shown in Greenburg's Guide to Marbles, 2nd ed. page 10. House of Marbles in England owned the machine used for these large Confetti's. They loaned it to Vitro and commissioned Vitro to produce large marbles for them, including the Confetti's and other large boulders. All but a few of the Moore Confetti marbles were shipped to House of Marbles. House of Marbles was dissatisfied with the quality of the Confetti and regular production never began. In 1986 they had the machine shipped back to them, where it now sits just off of their lobby. Raelyn acquired just one of the large Moore Confetti's with the Vitro find. She offered it for sale for $250 at the 3/24-25/02 Sea-Tac show. No one purchased it, and Raelyn has decided to keep it for now.

Tim Sullivan also experimented with the Confetti marble when he made approximately 250 9/16" moonie-based and 5/8" clear-based marbles at the Anacortes, WA plant. (These sizes are as per Mr. Sullivan, however, I have measured them at 17/32" for the moonies, and 19/32" on the clear base.) Most of these Confetti's had one color of frit added to each, except in a couple of cases where an extra color was added. However, Mr. Sullivan could not get it to work well enough to put the marbles into production and gave up on the idea.

Raelyn obtained these marbles from Mr. Sullivan as well. He told her he thought that was probably all there were - that they had never been put on the market nor had they been distributed.

The moonie-base examples obtained by Raelyn were mostly red, blue and purple with some turquoise, pink and yellow. There were about 100 blue, the most common color, about 30 purple, 15 yellow, 6 turquoise and 5 pink.

The clear based examples had peach, yellow, turquoise, and turquoise/yellow combo. Raelyn reported; "There were not nearly as many run on clear glass, because they were particularly lackluster." Most (about 20) were turquoise/yellow combo. Seven were peach, "just a few yellow and not many with just turquoise," as Raelyn recalled.

Raelyn distributed many to friends and members of Sea-Tac, sold some at the Sea-Tac show, kept some for herself and sent a sizable group to Land of Marbles for resale.

These marbles are now being offered for sale at Land of Marbles, complete with photocopies of the paper trail leading back to Tim Sullivan!

Thank You Raelyn Dolton for sharing this information, and this exciting find with us!

(Raelyn is working on a new book on Vitro Agate, and has recently met again with Tim Sullivan and Dick Ryan to gather more information and clear up questions. Stay tuned for more info on the availability of this book!)

one pic of the "moonie-based" ones. I believe this was from when Pete had some for sale at LOM:

VitroConfettiLOM.jpg

Here is Patry's picture. This is like the set shown in American Machine-Made Marbles.

4Vconfetti_Patry.jpg

And here is a nice selection Patry scanned from the Vitro book:

(click to enlarge)

confettiPg-1.jpg

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This is a nice recap on the marbles and as I said in the separate thread right next to this those shown in American Machine-Made Marbles (2006) are in Patry's collection. They would be hard to confuse with Vacor's confetti style marbles. But Lewis Moore's confetti marbles were more easilt confused with the Vacor confetti marbles.

When I finally get up and running I will put up photographs of the various 1980s/early 90s Vacor confetti types. David

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This is a nice recap on the marbles and as I said in the separate thread right next to this those shown in American Machine-Made Marbles (2006) are in Patry's collection. They would be hard to confuse with Vacor's confetti style marbles. But Lewis Moore's confetti marbles were more easilt confused with the Vacor confetti marbles.

When I finally get up and running I will put up photographs of the various 1980s/early 90s Vacor confetti types. David

RUNNING ... :Emoticon-jawdrop: ... :icon_popcorn: ... bill

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Notice how the book reads "All but a few of the Moore Confetti marbles were shipped to House of Marbles"

Well believe it or not but my fauther has one of the Confettis that Mr Moore made it was handed to him direct from Mr Moore and he was told the story of the "approximately fifty 1 & 1/4" its a good looking mib but knowing it's real and came from a great man like Mr Moore makes it to him priceless!

I have also been lucky enough to have had in my hands some of Confetties that are part of Raelyn's collection.

I love them all if nothing else they are marble history.

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Thanks David.

Andrea, I'm sure Patry wants you to smile when you think of her. :-)

Zigafoose, any chance we could see that marble of your Dad's? Well, anyway, that's awesome !

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Here is a few that I have and would like to know if I am hordeing Vacor frit mibs. I have some Vacor frit mibs no doubt, but these strike me as different. I also have two dark blue translucent bases with multiple color frit on them and they are just spectacular. Thanks for the info and God Bless!

post-1945-1244691933_thumb.jpgpost-1945-1244691964_thumb.jpg

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whether vacor or chinese or vitro, I'd want to know size. Also I'd definitely want to see them on a white background so that I could have a handle on what the base glass looks like. I also imagine people would like to know how you came by them before they'd want to declare Vitro, since confettis were never released for sale and there are so very few.

I suggest this as a matter of straight marble ID protocol, not because I feel I am qualified to decide whether you are holding an ultra rare vitro confetti. Having said that, I'll leave further comments to others.

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Ok, I just threw them on a back side of a coffee cup when I saw this post. I'll go take a pic on a white background. They are all 5/8ths, besides one on the bottom right of the first picture, I think. I don't have calipers to measure to a certainty but a fair guess is around 5/8ths. These came from a collection that I purchased a weekend or so ago while we were traveling near my wife's family. I was only going to buy a few out of the box but the whole box was for sale as a set, and the price was good. This is probably going to take two posts to get all the pics in, but here goes.

post-1945-1244694595_thumb.jpgpost-1945-1244694611_thumb.jpgpost-1945-1244694630_thumb.jpg

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post-1945-1244694912_thumb.jpg

Last pic, hope this helps. This one is also green but more pale green than the others. Probably Vacor if the vitros are so rare, I can't imagine a rookie like myself falling into something so good. If you know me, you'll also know that if I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. God Bless and thanks for putting up with so many questions from a newbie. lol

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Hi, Thought I'd weigh in on this. Gary's are likely Vacor. Definitely not Vitro Anacortes or Vitro/Lewis Moore.

Keep in mind that he Vitro Anacortes were 9/16" and 9/16"+.

I've commented on Griff's photo montage w/arrows previously. Only the two smaller ons on the right are Vacor Anacortes. The others are up for grabs(Vacor or Asian).

Can't wait to get fully in operation so that I can post pics. I've got marbles! David Chamberlain

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Well, like I said, I don't have calipers to measure and 5/8ths is pretty darn close to 9/16ths. But since David shot down all my mibs, I pulled out the little plastic dohicky with the umbered holes in it. All those darn marbles are 5/8ths, except one. lol And wouldn't you know it? It's 9/16ths. It's one of the clear based ones with different colored frit on it. I don't know if you can tell it apart from the others in the pics I posted but it's up there. Of course this doesn't mean anything, but it does make me grin a bit. I believe it's an older mib, well played with as some frit has left the orb in places. But what ever it is, it's will still be in my collection until they drop me in a hole someday or dust my favorite fishing hole with whats left of me. Thanks again and God Bless.

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Hi, I'm feeling some need to jump in here again. Regarding Bo's photograph which Griff posted; it lends itself way too much to bibliographic echo. There's really only the one in there with single blue dots on it that qualified as an Anacortes Confetti.

9/16" should not be generalized to allow one to assume that a 9/16" marble with confetti characteristics is the Real McCoy (meaning Vitro Anacortes). I just pointed out or meant to point out that in general the Anacortes Confettis were universally 9/16". Got that?

Now the other type besides the ones with a milky matrix and single colored dots was one a mite bit larger, say 5/8"-, that was mostly clear with yellow and green frit on the surface. One is shown in the Vitro section of American Machine- Made Marbles right beside three of the 9/16" variety.

Hope you're not making that hole in the ice too big. We don't want to have to fish you out. Just what bait do you prefer to ingest? David Chamberlain

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lol David, I could read your posts all day long. And I am starting to understand the "naming of the Jabo mib" issue now. lol I was just curious as to what I had and thought I'd jump in here and ask. Thanks for taking the time to teach me something new. The mib that I thought could be a vitro frit mib was the last one I posted a pic of, which is 5/8ths and has yellow and white frit in various sizes on the surface, although not covered like most Vacors I have in my collection. However, the base is not crystal clear, it's kinda pale yellowish-green. Again, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions here and please don't get grumpy. You will always be a marble collector that I look up to and if I learn half of what you know, I'll do just fine. God Bless you David, always and forever.

P.S. I perfer fresh nightcrawlers or minnows for bait. :)

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Zigafoose, any chance we could see that marble of your Dad's? Well, anyway, that's awesome !

Yes I will try to remember to snap a pic or two next time Im over there

If I didn't know for 100% that it came from Mr Moore's hand I would not swear it was a Vitro, my dad had the pleasure to know him for many years.

I have at length talked with many other mib collectors about Vitro Confettis so Im glad to see it brought up here.

The ones from Raylens collection I was luck enough to find in a case at the Glass and Marble Museum when they first came in from California it was the best day ever had in my marble collecting life ,never had so much fun!!!!!!

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My brother just got back from a 4-5 day fishing trip with three long-time friends(45 years) and all four of them ministers. Trout wern't happening so they went to plugs for bass and did well. It's 1 fish daily I guess that's allowed. I use to tie flys early on. Have even in the wilderness areas picked up trout that were in about to evaporate puddles and put them back in what hardly amounted to a stream. I think they were grateful. My brother is a trout fisherman. One of my great joys as a boy was to see Ted Williams showing off his skills fly casting at the Sportsman Show in Boston, although I enjoyed more seeing him in Fenway. I can reel off the 40s/50s line-up. Dimaggio, Pesky, Williams and so forth!

Unfortunately I'd have to nix that last photo as well!

Stacy, Vacor is Vacor de Mexico in Guadalahara, the largest manufacturer of marbles in the world. Must have 30-40 machines running 24 hours of the day.

I use to sit around the radio with my Mom listening to the Sox's in the 40s and we would keep separate box scores. When Mom died there was a single sentence paragraph in her Obit that said: Barbara Chamberlain was a life long fan of the Boston Red Sox. It runs deep! David Chamberlain

P.S. You must know about that temporary period of friendly harassment when Sturtz threatened to name a marble Grumpy after me 'cause I was balking at marble-naming early on. Thankfully he settled on 'Brassy.' Close one!

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Well, when those Vitro Anacortes marbles early on were commanding as much as $200 ea. you can well surmise the continuing interest in one and all wishing their marble with frit was one of the blessed ones. I sold one at what I felt was an exceedingly fair price of $100 at Amana. I probably should have kept it but in truth they don't do it for me. David

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I've commented on Griff's photo montage w/arrows previously. Only the two smaller ons on the right are Vacor Anacortes. The others are up for grabs(Vacor or Asian).

Do you mean Only the two smaller ons on the right are Vitro Anacortes. or have I just lost the thread?

Steph, you have a very polite way of suggesting someone post pics, does it work?

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Do you mean Only the two smaller ons on the right are Vitro Anacortes. or have I just lost the thread?

Steph, you have a very polite way of suggesting someone post pics, does it work?

LOL! I'm dying to see one of the big ones ! !!! I hope it does work! Glad Zigafoose seems willing! ^_^

(but his Dad's story IS STILL awesome even without pix! !!)

That group photo in post #11 has been a source of confusion in the past. I'm with David in his concern about bibliographic echo. The photo needs to be addressed clearly, without hedging, or the confusion will be perpetuated. What I think I am hearing is that the only two marbles there which have a chance of being Vitro confettis are the two smaller ones on the right. But a chance doesn't mean a guarantee. The moonie-based one does appear to be a confetti. The clear-based one is in question. What was the range of variation of these?

I hope no one takes offense at this being questioned. The known mistakes in the labeling make it clear there have been some assumptions made without provenance. Is there provenance on the small turquoise one? That is my personal question.

known Vitros vs. ? (click to enlarge)

VitroConfettiCompareAndContrast-1.jpg

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Steph, I just want to personally thank you for opening this thread. Your knowledge and ability to dig up information to support your efforts just blows me away, again, thank you. I think frit mibs could be the most under rated mibs out there. They are just so beautiful, of course there are some less appealing ones out there and that's ok too. I could venture a guess that even when Rome was built there was a pile of reject stone somewhere. lol I would also like to see a frit marble made, then hand worked to smooth it out and spread the colors out, now that would be something to behold!

On the fishing side of things I was trying diligently to set up some old poles that my father passed on to me after his death. Since I don't have many sinkers, yet I have a full tub of lead slugs that were there to smelt down and pour into molds and make them. I don't know what ever happened to my dad's sinker mold, but I do have his laddle. Maybe I will find one someday at a garage sale and make my own. I am sure that Dad would just smile ear to ear if he could watch me in action. Unfortunately funds are at a bare minimum so watch for my ebay sales soon. My user id is tinamariegarylangley. I plan on putting up some of our Tribute to Friendship mibs in the near future along with anything else I might get a buck or two for selling. But my collection of mibs, and my favorites from the Tribute run will stay with me and my kids until I am gone and they decide to keep them or sell them off.

My darn back has been acting up so bad lately that I have dove head first into my pile of mibs, which is probably why I have been posting on here so much lately. It keeps my mind busy and it's better than crawling into a bottle to drown the pains. I am setting up an appointment with another surgeon down here and hopefully he can hack me into better shape than I am now. With all this good weather we have been having and the warm sunshine I see poking through the windows, it's sure like being a prisoner of your own body. Keep your fingers crossed for me and God willing, something good will come of this endeavor.

Enough of my ramblings of me and my bagage! lol What were the sizes and types of frit mibs that Vitro made? Did they make any bigger ones? What kind of bases did they use? Were there any other companies that made frit type mibs besides Vacor? Not that Vacor makes bad mibs, some of them are just gorgeous. Take the Michelangelo's for instance, wow what a mib there! I also have some peewee wirepull looking mibs from them that have such color and beauty, they are just cool.

Thanks again to Steph, David and all who's input on this could be rolled into a book someday possibly titled, "All about Frit ". God Bless you all.

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I've just been going through my Vacor de Mexico(Guadalahara) marbles going back into the 1980s and I just know that confusion will reign forever and forever because there is such a variety of Vacor marbles which were done with frit. For example: GLITTER, SPARKLE, ROCKY, STELARIS, STAR DUST and DESTROYER. Then there were the ones not done with frit but have a similar surface appearance but smooth: GALAXY, JUPITER and DALMATIAN. Yikes! Now these are the names that the factory provided for these marbles. Mega went and changed many names to fit the American market. Talk about confusion! The above names are straight from factory sets that were provided to myself and to Marilyn Barrett by the factory. The sets were provided with the hopes that we'd see to getting photos of the marbles in books, etc.

There's a separate thread going on right now on Land of Marbles attempting to get ironclad descriptions for these Vacor marbles. Pete has been attempting to get a full Mega Marble bio. together so anyone with further info. go over there. David

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Very cool David, thanks for the information. It would be a very neat to have someone put together a book, or atleast a section in a book, that dealt with these types of marbles in detail or atleast a straight forward attempt. lol I tend to stay away from the other marble forums out there besides Jabo Land and Glass Addiction, but if someone puts this informatio together at LOM, maybe it will be posted here as well... atleast I hope they do. lol

May this note finds you all well and in good spirits. God Bless!

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