The origins of the humble marble are not clear. Archaeologists have excavated marbles from sites in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. Native American tribes also played with them. They were typically made of clay, stone or glass. In Roman literature there is mention of playing the game with nuts. During the mid-19th century the invention of scissors for cutting molten glass increased the production of marbles.
Martin Frederick Christensen patented a machine for creating glass-made marbles in 1903 and created millions of marbles before his company closed in 1917. There are currently only two marble manufacturers in America: Jabo Vitro in Ohio, and Marble King, in West Virginia.
Marbles are appreciated by enthusiasts for their attractiveness and entertainment. There are many different patterns and colors to entice collectors. Common styles are onionskins, corkscrews, lutz, micas, clearies, Indians, Joseph’s Coat, oxbloods, and sulphides. You can purchase handmade or machine-made marbles in glass, clay or stone. With hundreds of game variations, you’ll never get bored with your marble collection. However, we do suggest you keep rare marbles for display purposes only!