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Heaton Agate Co.


Cairo, West Virginia

1946 – 1971

Early mailing address: Pennsboro, West Virginia



In 1946, two marble companies started up in Cairo, WV.  Originally it was only supposed to be one.  Brothers-in-law Bill Heaton and Oris Hanlon were partners.  For reasons unknown the two parted ways.  Heaton went ahead with the original plans and ran Heaton Agate.  Hanlon started Cairo Novelty on the other side of town. 


Marble production started in 1947 and may have included an early version of the cat’s eye.  Heaton is known for producing both swirls and cat’s eyes.  They also made transparents and opaques and marbles for industrial use.  Sizes ranged from 3/8” to 15/16”.  Most of the swirls are two-color.  Three-color swirls have been found but these are rare and are attributed to blending and changing between runs.


They used scrap glass for cullet.  They only used one machine at a time because of natural gas shortages in town. 


Heaton traded marbles with Marble King, Vitro and possibly Master.  As he was learning about marble production Bill Heaton benefited from the knowledge of both Roger Howdyshell of Marble King and Art Fisher of Vitro.


In the late 1960’s Bill Heaton was planning his retirement.  He let operations wind down and looked for a buyer.  In 1971 he sold the factory with its machines and remaining stock to the Bogard family.   The company’s new name would be C. E. Bogard & Sons.






More information:


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



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