Making Marbles




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By Dan Beard

How Marbles Were First Made.

With the aid of frost and sun nature splits the rocks, dropping the fragments into the water, and the ever moving water rolls the fragments over each other and against other stones until they become smooth pebbles, many of which are almost as round as the marbles sold in stores. Away back before history was written the children used these natural marbles to play with, but there is nothing to tell us whether they used a "long ring" or a "bull ring," or what rules governed the game.

When the Tammany Halls of Rome and the citizens in general became wicked and corrupt it made nature very ill, and she broke out in volcanoes. While the terrible fires from the bowels of the earth were spouting and scattering their ashes and lava over towns and cities, Pompeii was buried with all its streets and houses and with some of its people and dogs. 

Among the many curious things found in the ruins by the antiquarians who have unearthed the old cities were--what? Marbles left by the boys in their flight from the doomed city, and, I think, if the truth were known, some of the little rascals delayed their departure long enough to secure and carry away with them their "megs," as the New York boys would call the ancient marbles.

Marbles in America.

One hundred and twenty-eight years after Columbus discovered America, and when many of the ancestors of this generation of boys could call themselves Americans, the Dutchmen imported marbles to England, and it is very probable the old Knickerbockers introduced them here, but it matters little who had the honor of introducing them to America. They came to stay, and now, from California to Maine, and from the Calumet and Hecla miles at Red Jacket, Mich., to New Orleans, the boys all play marbles.

Made Abroad Nowadays.

Where do they all come from? Some of you win them, some of you trade postage-stamps for them, but some person bought them, probably, at the little store around the corner.

When I attended the Eighth Street District School in Cincinnati we used to replenish our stock from "Marlaney's." I do not recollect the real name of the proprietor of the little store, but that is the name it went by among the boys. There we bought our butterscotch and bull's-eye candy; our match-sticks for kites, our elastic bands for slings, our tops and top-strings.







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Peer- Level Topic Links:
How To Shoot Marbles ] Marble Game Terms ] Names of Marbles ] [ Making Marbles ] Knuckle Dabsters ] The Right Spirit ] Gambling with Marbles ]

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Kite Making Plans ] Marble Games ] Marble Basics ] Stilts ] Tops ] Fish Bait ] Fish Sense ] Hoops & Wheels ] Pet Frogs ] Sucker ] Balloons ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.