This is a great photo from the early 1900s showing children playing MARBLES at the Santee School. Have you ever played marbles? What did you call your marbles? Share your stories on our Facebook page.
Wikipedia lists some names as:
o Aggie – made of agate (aggie is short for agate) or glass resembling agate, with various patterns like in the alley
o Alley or real – made of marble or alabaster (alley is short for alabaster), streaked with wavy or other patterns with exotic names like corkscrew, spiral, snake, ribbon, onyx, swirl, bumblebee, and butterfly
o Ade – strands of opaque white and color, making lemon-ade, lime-ade, orange-ade, etc.
o Cat’s eye or catseye – central eye-shaped colored inserts or cores (injected inside the marble)
o Beachball – three colors and six vanes
o Devil’s eye – red with yellow eye
o Red devil’s – same color scheme as a devil’s eye but swirly.
o Clambroth – equally spaced opaque lines on a milk-white opaque base. Rare clams can have blue or black base glass. Medium-high value for antique marbles; rare base color valued much higher.
o Lutz – antique, handmade German swirl, containing bands of fine copper flakes that glitter like gold. Erroneously thought to have been invented by noted glassmaker Nicholas Lutz. Medium-high value for antique marbles, depending on specific sub-type of Lutz design.
o Oilie or oily – opaque with a rainbow, iridescent finish
o Onionskin – antique, handmade German swirl, with many closely packed surface streaks. Medium price range for antique marbles.
o Opaque – a popular marble that comes in many colors
o Oxblood – a streaky patch resembling blood
o Pearls – opaque with single color with mother of pearl finish
o Toothpaste – also known as plainsies in Canada. Wavy streaks usually with red, blue, black, white, orange.
o Turtle – wavy streaks containing green and yellow
o Bumblebee – modern, machine-made marble; mostly yellow with two black strips on each side
o China – glazed porcelain, with various patterns similar to an alley marble. Geometric patterns have low value; flowers or other identifiable objects can command high prices.
o Plaster – a form of china that is unglazed
o Commie or common – made of clay; natural color or monochrome coloration. Made in huge quantities during 19th and early 20th centuries.
o Bennington – clay fired in a kiln with salt glaze—usually brown, often blue. Other colorations fairly scarce. Fairly low value.
o Crock – made from crockery (earthenware) clay
o Croton alley or jasper – glazed and unglazed china marbled with blue
o Crystal or clearie or purie – any clear colored glass – including “opals,” “glimmers,” “bloods,” “rubies,” etc. These can have any number of descriptive names such as “deep blue sea”, “blue moon”, “green ghost”, “brass bottle”
o Princess – a tinted crystal
o Galaxy – modern, machine-made marble; lots of dots inserted to look like a sky of stars
o Indian – antique, handmade German marble; dark and opaque, usually black, with overlaid groups of color bands; usually white, and one or more other colors. Can also have many colors like blue, green and scarlet. Medium price range for antique marbles.
o Mica – antique, handmade German marble; glassy to translucent with streaks or patches of mica, ranging from clear to misty. Value depends on glass color.
o Steely – made of steel; a true steely (not just a ball-bearing) was made from a flat piece of steel folded into a sphere and shows a cross where the corners all come together.
o Sulphide – antique, handmade German marble; large (1.25 to 3+ inch) clear glass sphere with a small statuette or figure inside. Most common are domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, cows, etc.; then wild animals; human figures are scarce; inanimate objects such as a train or pocket watch are very rare and command high prices. The interior figures are made of white clay or kaolin, and appear a silvery color due to light refraction. A sulphide with a colored-glass sphere, or with a painted figure inside, is also very rare and brings a high price. Like other types of antique marbles, sulphides have been reproduced and faked in large quantities.
o Swirly – is a common marble made out of glass with one swirly color.
o Shooter- Any marble but in a bigger size.
o Tiger- clear with orange-yellow stripes
o Baby – white with colours visible on the outside