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Akro Aces - Early 1930's


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The description of the translucence could make it easy to think it applied to a wide range of Akro marbles if you didn't have pictures from Akro of what the marble actually looked like. The mention of opalescent glass is kind of confusing and another Akro Ace ad leaves it out entirely.


Here are some photos Dani took to show the opalescence.

This one doesn't have much of the white glass in it. This seems to be one extreme of the production.


This one is what I think Akro was shooting for.


And on the other extreme are ones which I believe were made as Aces but which have such a dense base that you can't see enough translucence to see any color in it at all. It would be hard to tell those apart from Prize Names.

My impression at this time is that they didn't last nearly as long in the Akro line as Moss Agates did. My hunch is that Aces were Akro's answer to Peltier's Acme Realer. Well, to me they sort of resemble Realers. To me the base seems to have a sort of grain. And it doesn't have the smooth look that Moss Agates do.

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And finally for now here's one more pic of Aces, from a Salesman Sample box.


Click here for supersize: http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o151/modularforms/Akro/3Akrosamplerboxes008.jpg

(Might need to double click for full size.)

(Edit: the supersize doesn't work easily anymore because of Photobucket changes, but you can zoom at Photobucket.)

Edited by Steph
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  • 3 years later...
On August 3, 2012 at 4:31 PM, Steph said:



I was working through a group of white based corks, specifically looking out for the mysterious, Akro Ace from the early 1930's and found this blue one, that is almost certainly (as certain as I can be) a true Ace.  

Indeed!  I've struggled with the terms Ace which was used by collectors and was used by Akro in that famous ad above, and it appears that terms were not the same type of marble (Ace I've seen applied to so many things I couldn't say if there is a consensus view).  I've struggled with their description above, as the few examples that glow orange when lit properly really don't give the appearance of a 'thin strip' of opalescent glass. To make matters worse, is the Ace collectors' name of "Ringer" which I have accepted as essentially a popeye that is missing one color; that is, has wispy white glass, another color, on a partly transparent over-running glass.  Yikes!  So I bothered to look carefully well over 100 white based corks and/or ringers, and I have found three blue examples, one black, and one red that fits the bill. 

The following photographs represent my best blue example of a an Ace that matches well the description in the ad above.  There does appear to be a ribbon of opalescent glass running through the marble as shown in some these picture--it was a challenge to get.  The middle left and right shows the marble without back-lighting, and while these images do not show well the transparent glass over-running the white and blue areas, the movement of the glass is much more dramatic than non Ace corks. The middle image and the bottom and top are back-lit in a way to give the impression of ribbons of opalescence, and it appears that the opal glass is traveling with the transparent and not the white and blue regions.  I found also that the red Ace does not show the opalescence quite as well, as the orange glow is interfered a bit with the red ribbons kicking light weirdly all about....however, this one also looks very much like what I learned as a Ringer...or Popeye missing a color.  So, everyone, get out your powerful flashlights and search your corks...I still need a green (I didn't really check all of them yet) and an orange. So, five corks out over 100 runs less than 5%; if my sample is representative, this is not a common marble...I wonder if the Great Depression spelled doom for this cork line very early after its debut. I would like to know what you find.  John

BlueAceRaw copy.jpg

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Well done.  Very difficult marble to photograph.  Can usually only hope for a hint of the fire to come through.

We have to remember that the ad writers of the time weren't always or maybe even usually the marble makers.  So I don't hold them to "narrow, distinct strip".

I think what people called Ringers could sometimes come from true Aces.  Or could be Moss Agates.  Some of the corky mosses have a lot of clear in addition to a ribbon of white.  So probably some things from both styles have been called Ringers.

My continuing working hypothesis is that quality control was tough with Aces and they probably didn't catch on well enough to justify continuing to make the effort over a long period. 

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35 minutes ago, Steph said:


We have to remember that the ad writers of the time weren't always or maybe even usually the marble makers.  So I don't hold them to "narrow, distinct strip".


True enough. It gave gave me at least something to start with.  It was useful to have this ad as a starting point, but I agree, probably not just a narrow strip always, although I do think the opalescence is in the clear glass.  And thanks Steph for the acknowledgment on the shot: getting that first shot would have been tedious under normal working circumstances...but you know, working with marbles, well, just doesn't seem like work.  

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