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Marble Vending Machines


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I was under the impression -- and have probably stated it as something akin to fact -- that marble vending machines weren't specially marked as being for marbles.

I knew that in the 1940's and later, ads were run for vending machines suitable for marbles. It looked like they were pushing a new idea -- to try to keep their machines full during wartime shortages of sugar and ball gum, but I thought those were multipurpose machines, for gum or marbles or whatever.

In 1929, though, they actually had machines specially marked for marbles.



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  • 1 year later...

Was wandering through and noticed this thread ....

..... and then looked at the marbles in the vending machine ......

Do I see patches? And equatorial ribbons? .... maybe even marbles with both equatorial ribbons and a patch on the end?? ???

In September of 1929??????

Who could have made them in September of 1929?


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I'm practically positive that it's too early for Akro. As in 99.999999999% sure.

Peltier might have had Peerless Patches at that time, but they would have been nice ones.

So I started to wonder if these might be Japanese marbles.

Now it looks like I'm seeing some cat's eyes in there too.

Too weird.

At first I wondered if the magazine date might be wrong, but no, there is apparently no typo there. It's 1929.

That marble assortment is Just. Too. Weird.

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This is the February 1930 ad -- their photo of the machine is overlaid with another photo -- an image of crude swirls:


They say that they have 14 different assortments and every time you order you get a different assortment.

Here is a June 1929 ad -- with more text, no photo:


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The top center one looked like I could see separated vanes. And then about a third of the way down from it, I thought I might be seeing a light-colored cat's eye.

Even if not cats, we still have some surprising patches and ribbons.

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They don't look like Akro corks to me.

Akro DID supply marbles for vending machines. However, those pictured in the overlaid photo from 1930 don't look like the Akros I recognize from that time.

The way a 1931 Akro ad is phrased, it makes me wonder if it's selling surplus Akro slags: http://aa.arcade-museum.com/Automatic-Age-1931-03/Automatic-Age-1931-03-110.pdf

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I'm practically positive that it's too early for Akro. As in 99.999999999% sure.

I'm not sure it's too early for Akro. Akro's glass chemist, Henry Hellmers, remembered machine-made marbles starting in 1926 or '27, and in AMMM it talks about Early's spinner cup coming into use between 1928 and 1930 . . .

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Yes, they definitely had machine-made marbles in 1926. Slags, Cornelians and Imperials. And they had Flinties and Moonies in 1929.

I just don't see room for the patches -- or for Spiral style corks -- between this advertisement from 1929 and the "beautiful new line of marbles" Akro introduced for children to name in 1930, AKA the Prize Names.



I don't recognize two of the patch/ribbon patterns in the machine as ever coming from Akro. One of the patch patterns does look like it could have come from Akro but, again, in a later year.

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Well, that makes sense about the marbles Akro had before the corks. But I've always thought patches were later rather than earlier. So do we have to reconsider that? Do you think the mushrooms could be that old?

I just wish I could see those marbles better . . .

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  • 6 years later...
On 12/3/2015 at 9:06 PM, I'llhavethat1 said:

Where are the color pictures so we can see what rustproof aluminoid looks like? :)

I have found  a number of references to aluminoid, to where I can get exact dates.  One in reference to pots and pans for industrial use 1898 and one for use on replaceable nibs on fountain pens, 1915 (that magazine was dubbed culturally significant and reproductions were made and is available on Amazon!!). The cookware looks like it's unfinished aluminum and the fountain pens look like they have had brass plating put on them.  I have found other references to brass plating aluminum to ensure that they remain rust proof. 

And steam engines and light machinery!

Thought this might be interesting! Looks like aluminoid was around for quite a number of years.



Screenshot_20220902_114226_Amazon Shopping.jpg






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