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Very rough draft

(The entries which don't have links are ones which used to have links, and I just want a reminder of the things which were discussed. Maybe someone else will start a thread about them.)

Nomenclature discussions:

Who came up with the names?

Original Names Of Marbles, LETS MAKE A LIST OF "FACTORY" NAMED

Marble Names Not From The Factory, THE OTHER SIDE!!

Question For Pelt Collectors?

Jabos Extraordinaire!, Nov. 06 runs (In post #2, there is a link to a Marble Mental thread about the name “Extraordinaire” already being used.)

the elusive Kato, (sorry about the fingers!)

Blue Angels (named by Smitty?)

Pelt Woodies (who named them? I think it was said in an old thread, but the thread is now gone)

Akro Claudia & Akro Jolly Roger. These are digger names for experimental blue and orange patches. (source: tba)

Found This One In A Pile Of Bricks, WARNING: This post contains extreme eye candy! (blood agate)

Slags (aka Onyx):

Single Seam Slag Or Striped Transparent ???, 3/4" CA

"slag" Vs. "onyx"

Slag in the earliest sense?

Handmade slag

Peltier Miller Machine Marbles:

LOM: Pelt Miller

Peltier Champion Jr. Marbles:

We Are The Champions?

Named NLR's versus similarly colored Rainbos:

Is It A Bird, Is It A Plane --- Superman, right??

Colorful examples:

Orange Slags, photo reference

Cloud vs. Clown

Counting colors:

4-color Ca Striped Opaque -- Not!, Am I right? (one of my pix is missing; I'll try to fix that)

3 Color Popeye Or Hybrid?

Different ways colors are counted for different marbles types?

How many colors are needed in a Vitro parrot?

Other discussions and debate:

Why name marbles?

Why not name marbles?

A New Pea To The World

Never Seen Before, Peltier


The meaning of blended in connection with Marble King

What constitutes a wirepull?

Lemon lime pelt?

My Find Labed #13, hope this is a peltier clown

Akro Butterscotch brick

What could/should be called a transitional, in addition to the famous "Transitionals"? For example, are Pelt "tweeners" transitional?

Edited by Steph
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  • 3 years later...

I am looking to develop an antique marble nomenclature for my senior thesis for archaeology analyzing marbles from 19th century historic sites specifically here in Missouri. I'm looking at the social/economic levels marbles cross, but also at distribution patterns. The primary marbles I'm seeing in the collections (though I have yet to see them in person) are clay, stone, ceramic, and some glass. Are these marbles being manufactured locally (clay marbles), or are they coming in from Germany, and from what companies in Germany, and by what means are they transported? How much did they cost in that period?

As that there is so little written on marbles in historical archaeology (2 small articles, and 2 hard-to-find books I'm still waiting on from the library), I've been getting as many books on the collection of antique marbles as I can, and am working from the nomenclature used there.

I am attaching the bibliography I've put together thus far, and though I've yet to go through all the books, I would be very appreciative of anyones ideas, thoughts, and input... especially if there is any book I've missed, or any book I should avoid.

You are the ones of experience and knowledge, and I deferr to that.

My many thanks to you all!

Note: I have ISBN numbers here so as to make it easier for librarians to acquire the books for me.

Barrett, Marilyn

1994 Aggies, Immies, Shooters, and Swirls: The Magical World of Marbles, Little Brown Company

ISBN-10: 0821220012, ISBN-13: 978-0821220016

Baumann, Paul

2004 Collecting Antique Marbles: Identification and Price Guide 4th Edition, Krause Publications

ISBN-10: 0873498224, ISBN-13: 978-0873498227

Block, Robert

1999 Marbles Illustrated 3rd Edition (A Schiffer Book for Collectors) , Schiffer Publishing,

ISBN-10: 0764309706, ISBN-13: 978-0764309700

2002 Marbles: Identification and Price Guide 4th Revised Expanded Edition, Schiffer Publishing,

ISBN-10: 0764315749, ISBN-13: 978-0764315749

2002 Pictorial Price Guide of Marbles, Schiffer Publishing

ISBN-10: 0764316338, ISBN-13: 978-0764316333

Block, Robert S.

2005 Marble Collectors Handbook, Schiffer Publishing,

ISBN-10: 0764323318, ISBN-13: 978-0764323317

2003 Collecting Early Machine-Made Marbles: The M. F. Christensen & Son Company and Christensen Agate Company, ISBN-10: 0764318276, ISBN-13: 978-0764318276

Block, Stanley A.

2001 Antique Glass Swirl Marbles, Schiffer Publishing

ISBN-10: 0764314599, ISBN-13: 978-0764314599

2002 Antique End-of-Day Marbles, Schiffer Publishing

ISBN-10: 0764316303, ISBN-13: 978-0764316302

2006 Marbles Beyond Glass, Schiffer Publishing

ISBN-10: 0764323636, ISBN-13: 978-0764323638

2011 Marble Mania Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN-10: 0764335502, ISBN-13: 978-0764335501

Castle, Larry and Marlow Peterson

1992 Marbles: The Guide to Machine-Made Marbles. Ogden, Utah: Utah Marble Connection, Inc.

Carskadden, Jeff and Richard Richard

1998 Colonial Period and Early 18th Century Children’s Toy Marbles: History and Identifications for the Archaeologist and Collector, Muskingum Valley Archaeological Survey, ISBN-10: 0962693189, ISBN-13: 978-0962693182

1990 Chinas: Hand-Painted Marbles of the Late 19th Century. Zanseville, Ohio: Muskingum Valley Archaeological Survey.

Grist, Everett

1991 Antique and Collectible Marbles 3rd Edition, Collectors Books

ISBN-10: 0891454888, ISBN-13: 978-0891454885

Grist, Everett and Lloyd Huffer

2010 Everett Grist’s Big Book of Marbles 4th Edition, Collector Books

ISBN-10: 1574326929, ISBN-13: 978-1574326925

Hardy, Roger and Claudia Hardy

1997 Akro Agate Price Guide: Featuring the Complete Line, Marbles, General Line, Child’s Dishes 2nd Edition, R. and C. Hardy

ISBN-10: 0966174712, ISBN-13: 978-0966174717

Randall, Mark E

1979 Marbles as Historical Artifacts. Trumball, Connecticut: Marble Collectors Society of America

Randall, Mark E. and Dennis Webb

1988 Greenberg’s Guide to Marbles. Sykesville, Maryland: Greenberg publishing Company, Inc.

Six, Dean, Susie Metzler, and Michael Johnson

2006 American Machine-Made Marbles: Marble Bags, Boxes, and History, Schiffer Publishing

ISBN-10: 0764324640, ISBN-13: 978-0764324642

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I was a member of the Archaeology Society of Maryland for several years and worked both in the field (mostly) and in the lab. My experience was primary in colonial archaeology sites in Maryland and Virginia. From memory (and its been a while) - the marbles we found were located primarily in co-located residential refuse dumps, below colonial floorboards and recovered from waste pits in unused stone water wells. They were almost exclusively fired glazed clay, fired unglazed clay and potentially porcelain. I do not recall locating glass marbles at these sites. The most prevalent type was fired glazed clay - but that may have been unique to the sites I worked based upon the active years of occupancy of the sites - or the local trade routes.

I will offer some observations:

The types you are interested in tend to be less appreciated and thus less researched and valued within the collecting hobby. You are likely to find less documented research in these areas. There are also fakes made and sold commercially of these types. Take care of where you get your information and look for multiple supporting references. Some of us are aware of what the fakes look like, and in some cases who has sold them. I only note this so prevent it from interfering with your research.

A suggestion that I have not thought through fully: Consider comparing marbles (fired) with clay pipe stems for commonality of material. Since you know that you can date pipe stems accurately by a known and trusted method - commonality and/or changes in the clay over time common between the stems and marbles could be an interesting research area.

If it were me - I would think that the field would benefit from documented research that catalogs toy marbles found at sites by a.) Type of site, b.) Known dates of site usage, c.)Estimated strata date that the marble was found at, and d.) the type and decoration index to the aforementioned data fields. The site documentation should contain most of those... except for perhaps some of d.) for which you could borrow description syntax from the collecting hobby. Such a compendium/cross-reference would be (IMO)valuable to archaeology for lab cataloging.

Just a thought.



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Another person you might want to contact who is also an archaeologist (if I remember correctly) is Alan Basinet - 'marblealan' on eBay. He didn't specialize in 'marble archaeology' but he is quite knowledgable in both fields. I don't want to post his email here but you can always contact him through one of his eBay listings.

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