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Master Marble Boxes Filled With Akro Agates


spara50
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Just got these in last week. 16 (yes 16!) vintage boxes of Akro Agate marbles in Master Marble boxes. All 16 boxes are marked Master Marble No. 2 Cloudy on the sides and ends, but stamped with the Akro Agate HERO stamp on top. 4 boxes are filled with 3 to 5 color corkscrews, 10 are filled with Akro Agate patches. 2 of the boxes have what have been referred to in the past as Master Uniques, but I think are either Akro Heros or Uniques.

Interesting group, and I would love to know what the history is behind these and why Master used Akro's in their boxes or vice versa. A few of the boxes have a few 5/8" Master Marbles mixed in. One of the Hero boxes has Comets.

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Interesting. Beautiful marbles.

Fwiw, for some reason I wrote Hero down as a Master name back in 2008.

Of course I knew it to be an Akro name but I still listed it as a Master name also for some reason. I'll try to reconstruct why I did that.

American Machine-Made Marbles says that Master acquired unsold Akro marbles in 1951. I wouldn't have guessed those corks to still be in the Akro stock then, but could be.

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Check out the ad at the top of p. 113 in American Machine-Made Marbles.

It's a little confusing. It has some pictures of Master boxes, and it has some text which goes about like this:

MASTER MARBLES

AKRO AGATES

in Packages and in Bulk

---- BRAND NAMES ----

CLEARIES ----- GLASSIES

OPAL ----- GAME

CLIMAX ----- UNIQUE

ROYAL ----- HERO

The paragraph from the text on p. 108 which mentions the old Akro stock says:

When the Akro Agate Company closed in 1951, Master Glass purchased a large stock of Akro marbles, packaging materials and glass formulas, as well as the right to use the Akro logo and trademark. It is reported that for some time Master Glass sold this old stock together with some of its own marbles in boxes marked Akro Agate. A very few examples exist of Chinese checker sets labeled "Chinese Akro Agate Checkers -- manufactured by Master Glass Co."

Masters in Akro boxes is the reverse of what you have, but maybe this is still the explanation.

p.s. Another ad on p.113 shows Master was still using the Akro name in flyers in 1963 or later. (I don't see a date but the ad has a five digit zip code.)

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It isnt unusual or unknown that a company can close it's doors and be shutterred for years to decades only to be sold later. All inventory and rights going to new owner. This would be what happened here. These were probably bought and then immediately put away by somebody. NOS to say the least. Great stuff Craig.

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I don't know if Joe Bourque is still around, but he had become friends with Clinton Israel before Master Glass was closed, and knew a lot of the history of Akro and Master Marble/Glass. So, if someone is still in contact with him, you might be able to get the full story. Joe bought a lot of the remaining stock of Master when they closed in 1971. The Akro and Hero Unique boxes were part of this, and they slowly dribbled out onto the market over the next 20 years or so.

From what I've been able to piece together from various sources over the past 30 years, and some of this is speculation, the Heros and Uniques were never marketed as such by Akro. I've always thought that the marbles were short runs produced for Master Marble by Akro and Master actually stenciled the names Hero and Unique on the boxes. it is possible that Master then never actually sold the stock boxes, and they remained in the warehouse until the company closed. Has anyone ever seen a damaged Hero stock box? I think they never made it to retail. The fact that Master boxes have now turned up with the Hero stencil on them supports this theory.

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Lot's of great comments and interesting theories and possibilities for sure. It's strange that the No. 4 Hero and Unique boxes if put out by Master had the Akro Agate logo on them, but it looks like Master did own the copyright. I have never seen a damaged box, and for that matter can't ever remember seeing a loose Hero or Unique by itself.

Master started selling Cloudies as early as 1930, so it might be difficult to date these boxes. But it might be hard to argue that Master most likely put these boxes together with the old stock they bought from Akro in 1951. Maybe someone will find out more in the future.

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When I saw the box labeled "cloudys" in the thread opener, I thought Id throw this in as part of the discussion....Here is a box of supposed Master cloudy's that sold on the bay a couple of months ago.....The marbles inside have been a source of confusion for collectors for a long time...some say Pelt others say MK and yet others say Master for the blue and green Aventurine mibs....Note that the box cover says, "uniques" and the side says "cloudy" Not really sure if the marbles are original to the box........could these be AKRO????

d7cloudy.gif

cloudy2.jpgcloudy3.jpg

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I have never seen a damaged box, and for that matter can't ever remember seeing a loose Hero or Unique by itself.

Craig, Are you saying you haven't seen marbles like those in the boxes you show as singles in the wild?

Here is another example of another company putting other marbles in their packaging. It's a MK bag from 1957 that has multiple companies including akro. Also a letter dated same from Berry Pink

Clyde, Nice bag, are you sure it's from 1957? If so, it seems some of those marbles must have been laying around for a good long while before they were packaged.

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Craig, Are you saying you haven't seen marbles like those in the boxes you show as singles in the wild?

Clyde, Nice bag, are you sure it's from 1957? If so, it seems some of those marbles must have been laying around for a good long while before they were packaged.

The photo is at least from the 1950's, which does show how long some marbles can lie around waiting for packaging, doesn't it. In a way that makes the possibility of those lovely corks in the OP being boxed up in the 1950's sound even more plausible.

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Chuck, Is that slice from the Official Ringer Rules published by Master in the early 1930s one of the dividers?

Yes....and the seller stated as such....I think the auction is no longer available for eBay viewing...He said something about the dividers that had printing with rules for 1930's ringer.....But it was also since the box had "unique" written on the top, this brings up again the relation of Akro stock being used by Master ......So I guess the "saga" continues....

PS- the "saga", meaning who made these?...Master Akro, MK, or Peltier

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