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Peltier "smileys" Boxes


ann
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There are only three Boxes of "Smilies" like this in the whole wide world -- and a fourth one that has no label on the box. All originated with the late Art Jones, a collector who sometimes appeared here on MC.

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I'll tell it to you pretty much as Art Jones told it to me. Mostly I'm quoting from a letter he sent me in 2010 with the aforementioned fourth box.

A young man that he knew, who had done some flea-marketing and who also knew that Art collected marbles, stopped by one day with a cardboard box partially filled with marbles. The box was damaged and had no top, but it was the original shipping box from Peltier Glass Company and was addressed to Marlin Toy Products in Horican, Wis. It had originally held 5,000 marbles, and Art estimated that there were about 1300 left in the box. There were only two types -- transparent orange-red and opaque yellow with a weird clear strip.

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Art discovered that the Wisconsin toy company existed in the 1930s and 1940s and then vanished from the record, but the marbles remained a mystery. So he sent some of the yellow ones to Gino Biffany in Ottowa. Gino, a Pelt expert as some of you know, said they were experimentals and not produced in any quantity because they fractured too easily; Art felt that explained the fact that there were several dozen half marbles -- all yellow ones -- at the bottom of the box. All fractured cleanly in half. Gino told Art he called them "Smilies" because of the shape of the clear strip on each. Art then took a few hundred marbles from the box, including all of the yellow ones, and sold the box and remaining marbles to "a fellow out west."

Since Art himself was particularly fond of marbles in packaging (he once had over 130 original boxes) and had learned how to repair them, he fabricated four for his "Smilies" (including the bags) and sold three of them -- all labeled as shown in the first picture -- at a Decatur show. He kept the unlabeled one for himself, until he sent it to me as an unexpected gift the year before he died . . .

Miss you, Art.

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