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  1. #1
    Registered User Dustyman73's Avatar
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    August 1940 National Geographic

    I picked up a copy of the August 1940 National Geographic some time ago and saw that it has an article about industry in West Virginia. Being a marble collector, I knew that it had to mention marbles. It did indeed, and they article states that they visited a marble factory in St. Mary's. Here is a scan from that article. This is a very cool picture, especially since it's in color and from 1940! Could this be Alley Agate?

    Last edited by Dustyman73; 02-07-2009 at 11:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Almost done with marbles catfish's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    Picture is too big for me to read your complete post....the right side is cut off.

  3. #3
    Registered User Dustyman73's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    I changed the pic size...The text on the pic is a bit hard to read, but it should fix the viewing problem.

    You can view it huge here:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3308/...5de74c56_o.jpg

  4. #4
    Senior Member That Girl's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    We discussed that once. The only suggestion was Alley.

    I was a little puzzled by some of the marble styles. Don't those look like patches in the front barrel? Did they have patches in Sistersville also?

  5. #5
    Registered User schmoozer's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    Interesting reference to using these marbles in Codd bottles. American-made Codd bottles are few and far between and bring big bucks when they show up.
    Still learning the game... :help2: :help2:

  6. #6
    Registered User Dustyman73's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    Well, this morning I was reading my new copy of "American Machine-Made Marbles" by Six, Metzler, and Johnson (great book, by the way!) and on the bottom of page 38 it verified that this pic was indeed at the Alley plant (which was later used by Marble King) at St. Mary's, West Virginia. The authors even tried to research who the lady in the picture was, but to no avail.

    I think that when National Geographic put the bit in the caption about all of the other uses, they may have been basing of a generic description of all the uses for marbles. Just a hunch...

    I am glad I picked up that old National Geographic...it was 50 cents well spent!

  7. #7
    Running Mibster RunnersDad's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    Very informative read and the picture is pretty cool! Thanks for posting, I hadn't seen it previously!
    Mike

    "To give anything less than your best, Is to Sacrifice the Gift" -Steve Prefontaine

  8. #8
    Mega/Vacor Collector MarbleMel's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    I would LOVE a job like that!!

    Thanks for posting!!
    *marble pun here*

  9. #9
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    The pic is from the Alley, St.Marys location,early on. The lady has never been identified. Yes,Alley made patches at the Sistersville location. Not postive what types of marbles that Alley made at Paden City location,probaby most or all patch type. Next was the Sistersville location for a short time. Here he made patches and a few swirls. Next was the Pennsboro location,where he made swirls. From what i have seen,no patches were made at Pennsboro,why???? Next was the St.Marys location,here i believe he made some patches and mostly swirls. I think some of the Alley patches at St.Marys has been identified as MK. Because MK bought this factory from Alley and made patch marbles.
    Lawrence Alley was asked to be in the picture for the National Geographic but declined as always. He felt that he was no one special for pictures. He started production of the chinese checker game marbles,at Pennsboro,for Pressman.The numbers of marbles needed increased fast. So he needed a larger factory building,and moved to St.Marys,where he produced large numbers of chinese checker marbles. He later sold this,due to health reasons,to Marble King.

  10. #10
    Registered User alleycat's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    If you measure the size of the marbles in the machine compared to the size of the lady's fingers, it is obvious that they are peewees. They are the same four colors as used in the Pressman Glass Mosaic game box. I and others have come to the conclusion that the lady who could not be identified was a National Geographic employee, because her dress is to fine for a factory worker.

    Edit:
    lstmmrbls below has a good point. The bags are too small and don't have enough marbles for the Glass Mosaic.
    Last edited by alleycat; 01-13-2013 at 09:29 PM.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator lstmmrbls's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    I would have to wonder why they would be packing them in small mesh bags if they were going to the Glass Mosaic game? Staged for the pic, possibly, but the closest color does not match what I have seen in the boxes. (I do have one)Also they would have known at the plant long in advance when NG was going to be there, so the folks would have probably worn their go to meeting clothes on those days?? Your assumptions may be correct just adding another view for discussion.
    CACs make me smile, Galen

  12. #12
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    I love to see this kind of Marble History and discussion on the forum here. Very interesting indeed and a great photo. I'm looking forward to seening more stuff like this posted. Great insights as to the origin and identification of the photo in question, and special thanks to Ron for all your input and info. You've given me a great deal of knowledge regarding wva marbles and their history.

  13. #13
    Senior Member That Girl's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    Great bump.

    Has the consensus on Alley patches changed since this thread was last posted in? That's still what it looks like the barrel contains but do I have it straight that some no longer believe Alley made them?

  14. #14
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    If Ron says they made Patches in Sistersville then I would probably have to believe that they did. He seems to know more about Alley marbles than anyone else I have met. I have a lot of Alley marbles, all swirls but don't know much about Alley during the period they were in Sistersville. I hope someone else can back up Ron's statement as I would like to know if they did indeed make Patches there. Thanks again to everyone for their input, lets keep this discussion going.

  15. #15
    Senior Member That Girl's Avatar
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    Re: August 1940 National Geographic

    I thought Ron was one who was now doubting that patches were made there. I could be mistaken. It's an old thread. A lot has happened since then.

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