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Master Marble Co.

Master Glass Co.


Clarksburg, West Virginia

1930 – 1941

Bridgeport, West Virginia

1941 – 1974



The Master Marble Co. was founded in Clarksburg, WV by three veteran employees of the Akro Agate Co.:  Clinton F. Israel, Claude C. Grimmett and John E. Moulton.  A fourth longtime Akro employee, the inventor John F. Early, joined the company a short time later.  Early had designed many of the marble machines at Akro.


They were off and running very quickly.  They opened in May 1930 and were already shipping in October.  A January 1931 ad says, "Preferred above all others by the marble-shooting 'stars' of boydom".


They had the good fortune to win the marbles concession at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago.   Their House of Marbles was a very popular attraction and their World’s Fair boxes continue to be very collectible.



In 1941 the company reorganized.  The Master Marble Co. closed and the Master Glass Co. was started in the nearby community of Bridgeport WV under the sole ownership of Clinton Israel. 


Their most famous marbles as the Master Marble Co. are their sunbursts, sometimes confused with Akro’s Sparklers.  However, if you consult the guides carefully you should soon be able to tell the difference in most cases.  Other famous varieties are their Meteors and Comets.   These can be more difficult to distinguish from Akro’s similar lines, the Moss Agates and Royals.  It is not surprising that there are similarities considering Master’s shared heritage with Akro. 


As the Master Glass Co, their marbles had less distinction.  Wartime restrictions, postwar glass prices and foreign competition caused all marble makers to deal more with recycled glass and to economize in other ways. 


Master Glass was one of many who produced a version of cat’s eye, in competition with the Japanese marble style which took the U.S. by storm in the early 1950’s.  Their most reliable seller however was their clearies.  That simple but popular marble kept Mr. Israel in business for a long time. 


The Master Glass Co. closed on June 1, 1974. 


Clinton Israel passed away on February 25, 1975, after a brief illness.






More information:


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



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