Bringing Back Marbles because Marbles are part of My Story.

Bringing Back Marbles because Marbles are part of My Story.

#BlogHerWritingLab 2016 ~ A Saturday Morning Thought!


It’s interesting what people save.  What we find important.  What we find valuable.  What makes us happy. What becomes part of The Story of our lives. What we cannot part with no matter how much de-cluttering, sorting, cleansing, donating, downsizing we do.

Like Marbles!

It’s very interesting to me that my husband Barry and I each saved our MARBLES from our childhoods, each kept in glass jars (mine a bit bigger and more full!). We may have combined everything else in our lives, but not our Marbles!

These little glass spheres remain a fantastical part of our childhoods, kept high up on a home office shelf. They are the color, the energy, the friends, the wonder of our yesteryears. Dreamkeepers!

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~ My Marbles ~
~ My Marbles ~


~ Barry's Marbles ~
~ Barry’s Marbles ~

These Marbles are mixtures of colors in little sphere shapes that brought such fun to so many days and nights of childhood. I had a little pouch with a drawstring tie, I don’t remember of what fabric, where I kept my traveling marbles. My prized Marble was and still is a large one with an orange-colored slice inside the glass.  I found this Marble on my school playground in California when I was 6 or 7 years old and thought it looked like someone had put a carrot shaving in it. This marble was scratched and dinged way back then, as it still is, most likely discarded because of its condition. I still remember the marvel of finding that shooter in the sand, like a nugget of gold to me…

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Barry and I each remember hours and hours of playground games, drawing circles in the sand and getting games underway — real games, made-up games, games for keeps and games all fair. Way, way back in the 1950’s and 60’s, Barry was all the way across the country shooting and flicking marbles in Rhode Island while I was drawing circles and shooting and flicking marbles in California sand.

Each of us remembers tossing Marbles on living room rugs, on sidewalks on hot summer days and nights, drawing those circles in the sand and getting games underway.

Awhile back, I even wrote an entire post about Marbles:

WHAT is the Game of Marbles:  There are many variations of the Game of Marbles, but each game is a game of skill, concentration, coordination, competition and fun using small, colored glass balls/spheres. Both the little ball/sphere itself and the game are called Marbles.

WHO, WHERE and WHEN about Marbles: Marbles have been discovered in archeological digs all over the world, including the pyramid tombs of Egyptian kings, in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and in Native American burial grounds, leading historians to surmise that people from all places and time have played games with small spheres.

  • Early Marbles were made of balls of clay, flint or stone.
  • Late 18th and early 19th century Marbles were made of china, clay and glass, but the best Marbles were made of real marble, especially alabaster.  
  • A less expensive version of Marbles made of glass was created by a German glassblower in 1846.  This would revolutionize the Marble world.
  • In the 1890’s, the S.C. Dyke Co. and James Harvey Leighton, both in Akron, OH, manufactured the first mass-produced Marbles.
  • In 1903, the first machine-made Marbles were manufactured at the M.F. Christensen & Son Co., also in Akron, OH, on Martin Frederick Christensen’s patented machine.
  • 3 other American companies, Akro Agate, Jabo Vitro and Marble King were also major manufacturers of mass-produced Marbles in the United States
  • The 1930’s brought the production of Cat’s Eyes Marbles at a company called Peltier Glass.  The injected glass is a simple curved form often referred to as “bananas.”
  • In the late 1940’s and 1950’s, foreign manufactured Cat’s Eyes and less expensive Marbles were produced.  This is why some older Marbles are considered collectors’ pieces.

WHY were Marbles invented:  Fun.  Entertainment.  Challenge.  Competition. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln were known to be earnest Marbles enthusiasts.  So, if you love the Game of Marbles, you are in very good company!

HOW do you play the Game of Marbles:  Ah, interesting question.  Some common Games of Marbles include Cherry Pit, Ring Taw, Boss out, Bridgeboard, Nine Holes… and many more. Games vary depending upon country or region, so it’s best to get a good Marbles book to get you started on the right toss.

A very good book recommendation is MARBLES: 101 Ways to Play, by Joanna Cole, Stephanie Calmenson, Michael Street and illustrated by Alan Tiegreen.

Marbles are timeless and universally loved.  Why not dig through some of your stuff to find some old Marbles to shoot and flicker with your kids & grandkids.  Maybe even buy a good book about Games of Marbles, and some brand new magic glass spheres.

Just remember to tell your kids if the games are for keeps (marbles returned to owners) or all fair (winner keeps all).  Show ’em your stuff!


I guess I didn’t need to know all of this interesting stuff about Marbles when I was a kid. But it surely IS interesting stuff, and it’s something I’ll pass along to my grandkids when I bust out my marbles with them.

I just remember carrying around my little pouch with the little drawstring like it was a sack of money. Memory Money.

It’s time those Dreamkeepers come down off the shelf for our grandkids — Bringing Back Marbles — as part of Their Stories too, maybe!

BlogHer Writing Lab April 2016 Prompts! Why not join in and tell your story. 

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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