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Marble King, Inc.


St. Marys, West Virginia

1949 – 1958

Paden City, West Virginia

1958 – present



The Marble King was Berry Pink.  He jobbered marbles for Peltier in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  He was a partner of some sort in the Peltier company, though it is not certain how formal the partnership was.  He was an extraordinary promoter.  Sales of marbles were so good that orders could not be filled with just the output from Peltier’s Ottawa plant so a new factory was needed.


In 1949, Lawrence Alley was ready to retire and Berry Pink bought the Alley Agate property in St. Marys..  Sellers Peltier, son of the owner of the Peltier company, is thought to have been a partner in this enterprise but again it is unclear how formal the relationship was.


The Marble King brand had already been in use by Berry Pink Industries for many years when the Marble King company was formed.  For example, it can be seen on Rippled Wheat mesh bag premiums from the 1930’s.   The first marbles sold by the new Marble King company were leftover Alley swirls and some Peltier Rainbos.  The swirls can be seen in their early ads from the 1950’s. 


In the 1950’s, competition from Japanese cat’s eyes and Vitro’s entire line led to the introduction of Marble King’s line of cat’s eyes and their famous version of the Rainbow.  Think of Bumblebees!   A classic!   Their Rainbo style has varied somewhat over the years but in some ways it is still the same. Marble King is still producing cat’s eyes too.  Another staple they continue to sell is their line of clearies.  


In 1958, an explosion at an adjoining factory completely destroyed the Marble King plant, which led to a move to new facilities in Paden City where Marble King continues to this day.  Their marbles are sold worldwide, and for a wide range of uses, from play to many industrial applications. 


Berry Pink passed away in 1962 but still captivates the imagination.  From very early in the history of the company, Roger Howdyshell was its manager.  After Pink’s passing, Howdyshell carried on as part owner and eventually sole owner of the company.  Mr. Howdyshell died in 1991.  His wife Jean took over the company and his daughter Beri Fox became business manager.  Jean passed away in 2003.  Beri is now at the helm of the last major marble making operation in the United States.  






More information:


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





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