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Playrite Marble and Novelty Company


Ellenboro, West Virginia

1945 – 1947

Mailing address: Pennsboro, West Virginia



The Playrite Marble and Novelty Company was a mostly family-run business in Lamberton, WV (now known as Ellenboro).  It was founded in March 1945 by Jesse O. Krupp, Andy Long and Lawrence Jones.  In the following spring, Charles A. Wilson, Joseph E. Wilson, and Mary Jane Krupp-Wilson bought into the company.  Marble production began on Nov. 8, 1945 and ended Dec. 31, 1947. 


Much information about Playrite’s operation has come from two company ledgers preserved by Mary Jane Wilson and shared with the authors of American Machine-Made Marbles. 


Playrite was one of many small companies which sprang up in the area after WWII.  Its two machines were built by the same man, George Murphy, who built machines for many of the others.  Its cullet came from the same sources as many of the other companies.  And its marbles look similar to many of those from the other companies.  Playrite only made swirls, all in the neighborhood of 5/8”, all with white or blue ribbons. 


Playrite packaging includes mesh bags and small boxes.  As of 2006, it was not known whether the boxes bore the company name.  Some of the mesh bags were labeled as “Playrite Marbles” but some said “Jackson’s Marbles”.  The Jackson Marble Company had also started in 1945 but went out of business in 1946, with unfilled bags and unused labels.   Playrite had more marbles than packaging and purchased Jackson’s surplus.


Playrite had one well-known buyer, the Jerome Gropper Company, but marble contracts were hard to come by and there were too many people vying for them.  The partners soon decided it wasn’t worth their while to continue.


The present whereabouts of the Playrite machines is unknown.  It is thought that the Wilsons kept at least one in the hope that times might one day be better for making marbles.







More information:


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



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