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Alley Agate, and other companies of Lawrence E. Alley


Paden City, West Virginia

1929 – 1931 as The Lawrence Glass Novelty Co.

Sistersville, West Virginia

1931 – 1932 as The Lawrence Glass Novelty Co.

Pennsboro, West Virginia

1931 – 1937 as Alley Agate Co.

St. Marys, West Virginia

1937 – 1949, initially as Alley Agate Co. and then in 1947 as Alley Glass Manufacturing



Lawrence E. Alley was the father of West Virginia swirls.


He had worked in the glass industry since about 1900 or shortly thereafter.  He actually helped to found the Ravenswood Glass and Novelty Company in Ravenswood, WV before he moved to Paden City to begin the company which would later be known as the Alley Agate Company. 


He was a prolific marble maker but never put his own name on a marble package.  In addition to swirls, his company made some interesting patches.  In addition to marbles, he made toy dishes.  The dishes were sold under different brand names.  One was Chiquita.


One of his most profitable partnerships was with the J. Pressman Co.  He supplied marbles for their Chinese Checkers games.  Toy glass dishes marked J.P. would be Alley products sold by Pressman. 


After a very long life in glass work, Alley sold his company to the Marble King, Berry Pink, who had briefly been his business associate in the early 1930’s. 


His grandson tells us that in 1950 or 1951 the U.S. government asked Mr. Alley to go to Japan to help set up marble factories to aid in their economic recovery.  He declined due to failing health.


Lawrence Alley passed away on March 31, 1952.





More information:


American Machine-Made Marbles, 2006, Dean Six, Susie Metzler and Michael Johnson



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