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Champion Agate


Pennsboro, West Virginia

1938 – uncertain (no activity is reported at the time of this writing)



The Champion Agate Company was organized in about 1938.  Its founding partners were Ralph R. Michels, Roy S. Michels, J. R. Murphy and Lawrence “Jacup” Jones. 


Their first marble machines were designed by Lawrence Jones, and seem to have been an improvement on earlier models.  They were built in Murphy’s machine shop.  In 1942, Jones left the partnership but his designs would be used and adapted in the marble industry for many years to come.  Several more companies would be founded in Ritchie County, WV and would have their machines built in Murphy’s shop. 


While other companies rose and fell, Champion Agate maintained a modest but steady presence in the industry for several decades.  They made a variety of swirls.  Their marbles range from single color game style to intricate “flames”.  Their final marble making activity may have taken place in 2005. 


Two former Champion employees whose names appear in marble history books are Carroll Jackson of the Jackson Marble Company and Dave McCullough of JABO fame.  Dave was the General Manager of Champion in the 1980’s. 


Their most famous package was their Bicentennial Special Pack which contained marbles from several West Virginia makers, some from companies still operating at the time and some from companies which had closed their doors in the 40’s or 50’s.


Something to watch out for is modern marbles from other companies which have been fraudulently packaged in bags with Champion headers.






More information:


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



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