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BuckEye

Important Gropper Onyx Documents

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Still having problems with "descriptions" and "pricing".

SIZE 0 (5/8" diameter)

"Professional" (New 2 Color)     $2.00 / 1,000 pcs     [Base Cost]

"Favorite" (Regular)     $2.20 / 1,000 pcs      [1.1x]

"Champion" (New 3 Color)   $3.40 / 1,000 pcs     [1.7x]

"Bloodies"     $7.50 / 1,000 pcs     [3.75x]

"Guinea"     $9.00 / 1,000 pcs     [4.5x]

"Moonies"     $11.50 / 1,000 pcs     [5.75x]

"Flints"     $20.00 / 1,000 pcs     [10x]

 

1) What made "Bloodies" so expensive?

2) What made "Moonies" 1.28x more expensive than a "Guinea"?

3) What is a "Flint"? Any photos? Why did is cost 2.2x more than a "Guinea"? Or 10x more than a "Professional" marble?

Where "Flints" what we would call "Layered Sand" marbles [or possibly "Exotics"]?  Was the high cost due to materials and the time for hand-gathering?

 

Sincerely,

John

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John,

I think you are right on buddy! I’ve never seen any other box than Akro be labeled flint.  The only thing I could Think of was maybe cac opaques like Galen has a box of.....

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Craig,

That was my second post.  The first post is at the end of Page 1 and is my "speculation" as to what "A" means.

 

Now back to "Cost" and "Price"...

Wholesale "Cost" is typically 50% of Retail "Price".

If you buy 1,000 "Flints" at $20.00 ($0.02 each), then you would need to retail them at 4-cents or a nickel apiece.

What made a "Flint" worth so much more that a kid would pay 10x more than a "base" marble?

 

In a cost competitive environment, it would be difficult to sell.

In fact, the letter you have, is in response to competitive pressures.

Not only are they discounting the marbles, but they are touting their quality of color versus the others.

 

Your letter is dated a little over a year after the Crash of '29.

Akro, Peltier, Master and Alley (possibly Alox) are supplying the marble market.

CA "Flint" marbles had to have a "WOW" factor to get those prices.

A loaf of bread was about 5-cents.

 

Don't get me wrong, the box of pastel opaque marbles are beautiful as a set, but could they command a higher price than a Guinea?

If you were a kid back in 1930 and the price was the same, what would you chose?  Guinea or Pastel Opaque?

 

Sincerely,

John

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Good point.  It says flints go up to size 3, which is 13/16”.  What production marbles Were made that big? I have Lots of striped opaques and transparents.  None get that big that I’ve seen.  I have a 15/16” cobra but is the only one I’ve seen and I’ve only seen a few 11/16” tops.  

Bloodies at 13/16”——yes

moonies at 13/16”——yes

American Agates at 13/16”?——yes.  I have A few.  

What kind of glass was the most expensive? Wasn’t it red because it used a form of gold oxide? Selenium was maybe red too I forget.  John, You would know.  I’m just trying to think what was abundant enough to fill boxes up. Maybe electric orange slags.  Those get that big.....abundant enough where I have Halves and pieces of cullet and others would too. On to search my books for “flint” stamped on a box....

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Would Flints not be hand ground Agates?  Just throwing it out there.  When I think of flint, I think of stone, stone marbles = agates?  Various sizes, labor intensive, desirable by kids, expensive. 

Not saying CA made them (or the polished clay marbles for that matter), could have been some sort of side deal. :dunno:

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14 hours ago, I'llhavethat1 said:

Would Flints not be hand ground Agates?  Just throwing it out there.  When I think of flint, I think of stone, stone marbles = agates?  Various sizes, labor intensive, desirable by kids, expensive. 

Not saying CA made them (or the polished clay marbles for that matter), could have been some sort of side deal. :dunno:

I can't disagree.

My guess is that the glass marble industry used terms formerly used to describe stone marbles to drive sales.  American Agate, Onyx, Carnelian, etc.

I was assuming CA used "Flints" to describe their glass marble.

Now, Borax is added to glass to make it tougher and more durable. Could "Flints" be made of glass with a stronger composition. Perfect for a shooter. Made of glass, but hard as stone?  Akro added Borax for their pressware glass (Helmer's notes).

Could the CA Flint be referring to glass with a high refractive index due to lead or potassium?

Or, are Flints those that ressemble reddish flint tools?

A CA box with "Flints" stamped on it would be nice to see.

John

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13 hours ago, BuckEye said:

Could the flints be the marbles in the left column of this “grocki” box? The milky white ones?

DC0DE9F1-2CBA-4B78-B21F-A622F3D7FD32.jpeg

Craig,

Would not those be "Milkies"?

The Pressman ad has "Milkys or Moons". 

I assume Moonies are translucent and the Milkies are opaque, bright white.

Again, hope those with knowledge to comment.

John

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22 hours ago, Shamrock Marbles said:

Is the answer at the bottom right of the photo?

The No. 25, 50 and 100 come in an "Attractive" Box and leatherette Bag.

So, does "A" mean "Attractive".

5 = $2.25 / gross

5A = $2.70 / gross (+$0.45 / gross)

10 = $5.00 / gross

10A = $6.10 / gross (+$1.10 / gross)

You either have "Plain" Boxes for Bulk or attractive, bright "Printed" boxes for retail.

Printed boxes cost more to make.

John

What about the "A"?

Could it stand for "Attractive" box?

On the bottom right of the Pressman ad, right beside No 25, No 50 and No 100 are the words:  "Attractive Box with Onyx Marbles and leatherette Bag."

The bright graphics on the box would attract attention and boost sales.

John

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I have a tangential thought....when did Peltier start dealing with Groper? I wonder if creating special 2 color and 3 color marbles to fill a defined marketing option offered by Groper, led to the creation of of the fancier Peltier styes such as the Golden Rebel, etc.

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On 6/2/2018 at 1:13 PM, BuckEye said:

Found this in the archives.  Maybe be the A is for assortment? Clays and glass....?

88B03B42-1AE2-4093-9CFD-D4C346EDEA70.jpeg

This catalog is interesting - year? I like how it still shows the Albright relationship via the Polished Clay marble additions in the listed assortment boxes.

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This is from Joe’s marbles and written by George Sourlis.

GROPPER’S No. 5 AND No. 10 BOXES

 

By George Sourlis

 

 

            During the late 1920s and the early 1930s, M. Gropper and Sons was a prominent jobber of marbles.  It bought marbles form Peltier Glass Company, Christensen Agate Company and Akro Agate Company and sold them under its own company name.  The company may not always have had the same name or may have used two names.  This is indicated in the letterhead shown in Plate 1.

 

Gropper's Letterhead

 

PLATE 1 THE GROPPER ONYX AMRBLE COMPANY LETTERHEAD

 

            Gropper’s No. 5 and No. 10 National Onyx boxes and National Rainbo boxes are shown in Plates 2 and 3, respectively.  The earliest No. 5 boxes contained 5 marbles, while the earliest No. 10 boxes held 11 marbles.  The terms “National Onyx” and “National Rainbo” are company specific to the Peltier Glass Company.  Onyx marbles are known by collectors as slags, and white-based rainbos are sometimes called Peltier baseballs.  The sides and backs of the No.10 boxes are similar to those shown for the No. 5 boxes.

 

Plate 2 Gropper National Onyx Rainbo Boxes

 
PLATE 2 NATIONAL ONYX BOXES

 

 

Plate 3 National Rainbo Boxes

 

PLATE #3 NATIONAL RAINBO BOXES
 

            The typical interior geometry of these boxes is unusual as shown in Plate 4.  The top lid closes by folding forward, while the bottom closes by folding backward.  On the bottom back and top front of the box are fold-in shelves or steps.  They create vacant spaces roughly from below and above the black center band on the front of the box to the bottom and top, respectively.  Some boxes have U-shaped inserts on each end instead of the attached ones below.  Because they are not attached to the box, boxes may be found without them.

 

 

Plate 4 Box Detail

 

PLATE 4 GROPPER NO. 5 & NO. 10 BOX DESIGN DETAIL

 

 

            Advertisements from wholesale catalogs for all of the above boxes are shown in Plate 5, one of the last 2 pages of this newsletter. They first appeared in 1926.  The ad for 1927 is essentially the same as for 1926.  In both years, the No. 5 box contained 2 #0 and 3 #1 marbles.  The No. 10 boxes contained 4 #0 and 6 #1 marbles plus 1 #2 shooter.  Look closely, and it is apparent that the 2 lower holes in the No. 5 boxes are short rectangles having semicircular ends.

 

            The ads in Plate 5 for the No. 5 box in 1928 and 1929 show that the lower slots have been changed into circular openings.  Close reading of the fine print indicates that the marbles have changed size in both boxes.  In the No. 5 box there were 2 #00s and 3 #0s, while in the larger box there were 4 $00s and 6 #0s plus 1 #2 shooter.  The total marbles in each box stayed the same – 5 and 11, respectively.  The physical box sizes stayed the same.  Product changes in 1928 reflect Gropper’s excellent market skill.

Plate 5 Gropper Ad

PLATE 5 GROPPER AD

 

            In the 1930 ad shown in Plate 6, the No. 5 box is not shown.  So it is uncertain if the lower opening remained circular; the marbles’ sizes were changed back to the large sizes of 1926 and 1927.  The number of marbles in each box remained the same, and the physical sizes of the boxes were unchanged.

 

            The 1931 ad for the No. 5 and No. 10 boxes in Plate 6 shows two changes.  Each circular opening in the No. 5 box has reverted to the earliest opening shape.  Best of all, the number of marbles in each box size has increased.  The No. 5 increased to 6 marbles: 3#0s and 3 #1s, while the No. 10 increased to 13 marbles: 6 #0s, 6 #1s, and 1 #2.  The physical sizes of the boxes remained unchanged, and the marbles are the same sizes as in the 1926, 1927, and 1930 boxes.

Plate 6

 

PLATE 6

 

            Included in this article is the successor to these Gropper boxes. It is the Peltier Glass Company No. 106 shown in both Plate 7 below and the ad I Plate 6.  It contained 10 marbles: 8 #0s and 2 #1s.  A larger version of this box is also advertised; it contained 18 marbles: 14 #0s and 4 #1s.  To the best of my knowledge, this box has not yet been found in the wild.

 

Pictures for Plate 7Peltier Glass Company No. 106 Box and Marbles

 

PLATE 7 PELTIER GLASS COMPANY NO. 106 BOX AND MARBLES

 

            Although studying the artwork and the fine print in this 6 consecutive-year sequence of ads has yielded great insight into these two Gropper boxes, at least 2 more important conclusions can be drawn.  The change from the 103- National Onyx boxes to the 1931 National Rainbo boxes may mark the start of production by Peltier of the National Rainbo style.  Also, the popularity of the slag (onyx) was fading fast.  The ads for 1931 could easily have featured both lines, but they did not.  The National Onyx line was so much less desirable then the National Rainbo line that only one line was offered after 1930 in these wholesale catalogs.  (Peltier in 1932 did not even offer a small box featuring the National Onyx line.)

 

            I want to thank Charles and Diane Brandstetter and Lester Jones for allowing me to photograph and use their boxes in this article.

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This is the most important part:

 

Although studying the artwork and the fine print in this 6 consecutive-year sequence of ads has yielded great insight into these two Gropper boxes, at least 2 more important conclusions can be drawn.  The change from the 103- National Onyx boxes to the 1931 National Rainbo boxes may mark the start of production by Peltier of the National Rainbo style.  Also, the popularity of the slag (onyx) was fading fast.  The ads for 1931 could easily have featured both lines, but they did not.  The National Onyx line was so much less desirable then the National Rainbo line that only one line was offered after 1930 in these wholesale catalogs.  (Peltier in 1932 did not even offer a small box featuring the National Onyx line.)

 

 

The original letter was from 1930 which lines up with Brian’s theory...

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3 hours ago, Shamrock Marbles said:

What about the "A"?

Could it stand for "Attractive" box?

On the bottom right of the Pressman ad, right beside No 25, No 50 and No 100 are the words:  "Attractive Box with Onyx Marbles and leatherette Bag."

The bright graphics on the box would attract attention and boost sales.

John

I think the A could be an attractIve box.  I also think the 5a and 10a might be the Peltier graphic boxes from above in George’s article...

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I think the National Line started in the late 1920's.  

I should know that for sure ... and I should probably know when the Gropper-Peltier connection was established.  But I don't offhand.  

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If I remember correctly, the Peltier-Gropper Marble Venture ran from 1924 to 1930.  They made all colors of onyx marbles, including cerise, at first, soon adding Prima Agates , with cerise and opal glass, and milky (opal) marbles by 1927. 

Before Victor Peltier started his Novelty Glass Works, he was manager of the Ottawa Flint Glass and Bottle Company, primarily making medicine bottles with a clear lead glass, which is what I always thought flint glass was. Some Peltier marbles have a clear glass that is especially prone to turning iridescent when buried, as bottles do, and I suspected that they may have recycled clear bottles for some of their cullet.

I think they slowed down on making the earlier marble types around 1928, and began trying different things with the development of new feeders and equipment.

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Mike,

Great info, as always.

 

Marble manufacturers have obliterated any line of distinction.

Obviously, Peltier Prima Agates are not really stone, but are made to ressemble such.

Glass Marbles aren't made of marble.

Where's the Onyx in a glass "Onyx" marble?

 

What is a "Flint" marble? 

How does a CA Flint differ from an Akro Flint?

Is "Flint" to be taken literally or figuratively?

Are the marbles really meant to appear like flint stone?

lf.jpeg.0cbc5d618419d19fe44fd975c4304c9e.jpeg

Here is a sphere of "Banded Flint" or "Striped Flint". Lovely.

John

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Good morning, John, and a happy hello to you...

I have no idea what a CAC flint marble is, and I don't recall that Peltier made anything that sounded similar to compare them to.

I can compare the above prices to Peltier's prices from about the same period, 1925-28, for perhaps some small insight.  (Listed prices for size #1 marbles)

  Onyx - $4.90 M - all regular colors, white, amber, green, royal blue, azure blue, purple - Made in size #00 - #6.

  Cerise Onyx - $10.06 M - Cerise (red) was much more difficult to make than the other colors, and cost twice as much to produce.*    Made in size #0 - #6.

  Prima Agate - $20.00 M - Prima marbles had an opal base glass that required special processes and a different furnace, which, when combined with cerise cost four times as much as their regular onyx marbles.   Made in size #00 - #5.

  Milky - $12.00 M - The opal glass was somewhat more expensive to make than the cerise glass.   Made in size #00 - #2.

*Fun fact...in the early years, the cerise glass had to be made into glass sheets first, before it could be used in marbles. Peltier hired women as "strippers", whose job it was to cut the sheets of cerise glass into strips, so it could be used for the marble striping.

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I just want to add an opinion here regarding one marble, the CAC Moonie - while it is often overlooked as a collectible, the blue Moonie that I have is one of the brightest, most attractive marbles in my collection. Granted I have a particular fondness for all things blue, but when you open the display box it just glows with an inner fire unlike anything else. No photo will ever do a Moonie justice, you have to see one in hand, and CACs are the just best ever made.

Were they more costly to make than a guinea? Probably. Did the kids of the 20’s think Moonies were the cat’s pajamas? Well, tastes do change, and I know my absolute favorite mib when I was a kid was a ruby red clearie shooter (worth about dirt then and today) and not the more colorful Marble Kings, Vitros or Master Glass. Beauty and cost are two different beasts, and kids only care about one of them. 

 

 

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