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Marbles From The Sistersville Alley Site


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Gonna start uploading Ron's pix now. There are lots of them. So keep on having a good time over there in the WV swirl thread. I'll be awhile.

I'm posting pix 40% to 60% of Ron's originals. If you need the bigger views of some, that can be done.

Here's Ron's introduction to the photo collection, containing some history about Lawrence Alley, and some things to make you think.

All recovered from the Sistersville WV,Lawrence Glass Novelty Company location.

If you look through the pictures close,you will notice. A half marble with a white base,red swirl Alley with what most consider gold lutz. This is not copper,it looks and reflects as gold. You will see a Peltier marble. You will see CAC cullet. I think you will see various Akro patches,plus a white and orange cork. Many more varieties of swirl type marbles than most thought originally. Some yellow base,red/orange swirl-flames. Different green/blue patch marbles with the vaseline colored base. A couple marbles with similar to oxblood stripes. Plus more odd out of place pieces.

This brings up the questions,how,why,did the items presumably from other marble companies,be found at the Alley factory. Do not forget the time frame was late 1930-31. Also that in late 1929 Lawrence Alley went to Ravenswood WV to make the first marbles for the Ravenswood Glass Company. The Ravenswood Glass Co. equipment was destroyed by a group of men with sledge hammers,etc. who had traveled there in two cars. The reason being stated as patent rights infringement. Being fearful and uneasy Mr. Alley left Ravenswood in 1930 and started a marble plant in Sistersville WV. With Berry Pink being a major purchaser of his production.

But the Alley Sistersville WV marble production was also short lived. Berry Pink left Mr. Alley but to return some years later. In late 1931 or early 1932 Mr. Alley moved again,this time to the Pennsboro WV location.

With all the out of norm marbles and cullet presumably from other marble companies found at Sistersville. A possible theory could be that Mr. Alley never produced a patch type marble. He left Ravenswood in a hurry and without delay started the Sistersville factory. With the road system and transportation issues in 1930,it was not easy to acquire glass cullet for marbles. Is it possible that Mr. Alley was getting cullet from any place possible. From other marble companies or through local cullet distributers,probably just south of Sistersville in Williamstown WV.

Did Lawrence Alley produce patch type marbles ?

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well that's confusing

:D

I'm still working on getting more of Ron's up. In the meantime you might enjoy these which Sandy and her family dug from the Alley dumpsite in Sistersville.

(click to enlarge)

th_Cullet_from_Alley_dumpsite_Sandy.jpg th_AlleyMossAgates_Sandy-1.jpg th_AlleyCullet_Various_Sandy-1.jpg

th_AlleySparkler_Yellow_Sandy.jpg th_AlleySparkler_3colors_Sandy-1.jpg th_AlleyPatch_GreenOrange_Sandy-1.jpg th_AlleyPatch_BlueRed_Sandy-1.jpg

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Ron poses a very good question. Although, we may never know for sure whether Mr. Alley produced patches or not, it does not seem unlikely to me that he may have, even if they were experimental and not produced in great numbers. Who knows, perhaps while setting up the machines at Sistersville for the first time all patches came out until the adjustments were made to produce pure swirls. And while some of the marbles found there are most likely from other makers, I do not believe any one type was found in large numbers (which is not necessarily to say they aren't still there somewhere).

If I am not mistaken, the most common patches found at the site to date have been the blue patches on that base that looks like it could fluoresce but doesn't. And when I compare those to other Alleys, it's not too hard to imagine that Mr. Alley produced them. Of course, without examples in original packaging or iron clad provenance this is all just speculation on my part. Nonetheless, the marbles below share identical colors (or as close as one could reasonably expect given normal variation). These colors also respond to UV light in the same manner. So I have no reason to presume that Mr Alley did not make this type of patch, at least.

Ric229.jpg.0d97d722f336dbcfaa16a6bc107554c7.jpg

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Oh perty.

I am sooo on the fence about these.

Here's one idea I'm playing with currently. Why were those machines busted up in Ravenswood? Could it have been patch-making machines? Would swirl machines have been enough to bring in lawyers or cause such ire? Patches were the new thing. Maybe that's the patent/investment which someone was trying to protect. Could it have been?

I liked being able to potentially credit Alley with some of the oddballs which paraded by. I'll hunt a couple of those up. You know - the kind which looked they were made by 3 different companies in turn. Maybe started out at Vitro, but using Akro glass, and then someone else went and added an extra stripe of color just to throw us off the scent. You know the ones I mean! lol

And I really wanted some of the mibs in Rosenthal boxes to be Alleys. Supposedly there's an odd shade of green on one of the moss agates from Sistersville. It's mentioned in AMMM. At the time of that writing it was not known to be associated with any other company.

I so very much wanted Alley to have made patches. :-)

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This is another idea I've been wondering about:

Who knows, perhaps while setting up the machines at Sistersville for the first time all patches came out until the adjustments were made to produce pure swirls.

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I've also considered the idea that having just arrived at Sistersville and being short on capital, perhaps Mr. Alley made patches solely for sale to other companies just to get some cash flowing.

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One more reason I really really wanted Alleys to be in Rosenthal boxes - and really thought they could be - was Berry Pink being an executive at Rosenthal at the same time that he was Alley's partner in Sistersville. Would he buy marbles from his competition? (if he could avoid it?)

Check out this Rosenthal box BJ sold. The story with it was that it was given to a boy at his 5th grade graduation in 1931. (4-vane cat a later addition of course.) I know some think that Rosenthal boxes had Masters in them, but with Berry Pink being a partner at Alley and the sales manager for Rosenthal, would they buy Master marbles for their boxes?

1931_Rosenthal_bj_mc4991.jpg

p.s., which shade of green was the one which was not easily associated with other factories? Is that the one in this box?

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Here's one idea I'm playing with currently. Why were those machines busted up in Ravenswood? Could it have been patch-making machines? Would swirl machines have been enough to bring in lawyers or cause such ire? Patches were the new thing. Maybe that's the patent/investment which someone was trying to protect. Could it have been?

An interesting thought, given the Paul Bunyan patches currently thought to have been made there.

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One more reason I really really wanted Alleys to be in Rosenthal boxes - and really thought they could be - was Berry Pink being an executive at Rosenthal at the same time that he was Alley's partner in Sistersville. Would he buy marbles from his competition? (if he could avoid it?)

If your facts are correct, I think this is a VERY logical question, and I think you may be on to something.

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Thanks to all ! ! ! ! Keep the Alley pictures coming please. I am printing them all to keep in a note book to use to help me identify Alleys. I would have no way thought that some of the mibs I have seen in the pictures were Alley. Great Info......All of you ROCK :cool-smileys-262:

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I Need some clarification.

It seems to me what we call "cullet" is 2 seperate materials?

Single color "cull" is used to make marbles, a mix of single colors?

Multi color "cull" (as produced when making marbles) does it have much use in marble making?

the obvious answer seems no or we would not be digging it up?

It seems that "cull" from one marble manufacturer would be of little use to another?

So if you are digging up "marble cull" would that not point toward that site being the manufacturing site of that attempt?

David

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That's what I thought.

Some contemp makers are able to use busted up Jabos to make new marbles. But they're able to control the glass somewhat. How would that work if they were throwing them all into a pot? Wouldn't that be muddy?

But if indeed the cull was shipped into Alley and if mostly the blue and gold ones are still being found at Alley maybe that explains why. Maybe the blue and white marble cull (for instance) could be used okay and most of it got used up. But the blue and gold cull turned muddy so it got left behind.

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LOL. See me trying to see both sides? I WANT the marbles to be Alley. But I'm trying to see other explanations. I'm trying to see where the blue and gold cullet could have come from and why it would be found in abundance in the Alley dump.

Here's an example of marbles I wanted to have be Alley. Lizzy posted these a year or two before the Alley patch finds were posted. She said they had been ID-ed as Vitro. But there still seemed an air of mystery in the ID. I asked her if it was a sort of default ID after everything else had been ruled out. And it seemed as if that might have been so. So when the possibility of Alley patches came to light, I wanted that to be the answer.

Lizzy_mc5174_cropped.jpg

Whaddaya think? Was the original ID right? Vitro? I SO wanted them to be Alley. :P

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So which one is the mystery green which seems/seemed only to be associated with the moss agates found at Alley?

Is this it, Ron? The one near the top center of this pic?

DugSistersvilleAlleymarbles_006_600.jpg

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Steph, I'm not Ron . . . but if you look at the pic of 5 Sistersville moss agates in AM-mM, I think it's the upper left one (it's also in PAM). The one you're referring to reminded me of the color on a Pelt pearlized patch, without the "pearl" - didn't have a PP handy for direct comparison though, so I could be off on that.

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  • 3 years later...
  • 3 months later...

It seems to me what we call "cullet" is 2 seperate materials?

Single color "cull" is used to make marbles, a mix of single colors?

Multi color "cull" (as produced when making marbles) does it have much use in marble making?

the obvious answer seems no or we would not be digging it up?

It seems that "cull" from one marble manufacturer would be of little use to another?

So if you are digging up "marble cull" would that not point toward that site being the manufacturing site of that attempt?

I agree we're usually talking about two different things. There's (1) single-color, pre-tank glass cullet, and (2) multi-color post-tank glass cullet. Like the baby blue and mossy-agaty yellow/gold post-tank cullet dug by Sandy (great pic) . . .

No reason patches couldn't have been made there since it's really just a matter of the relationship of the delivery system / shears and the machine (rollers), as I understand it. You could get some patches every time you started up a run, until you shoved it around enough to give you the swirls you were looking for.

Not trying to fan any flames. Just sayin' I haven't moved ny baby-blue-and-gold patches out of my Alley box yet.

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