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Ravenswood Glass and Novelty Company

Ravenswood Novelty Works


Ravenswood, West Virginia

1928 – 1930

Ravenswood, West Virginia

1931 – 1944, 1947 – 1955



The Ravenswood Glass and Novelty Company was one of Lawrence Alley’s many enterprises.  He began the company in Ravenswood, WV in 1928.  Mr. Alley was the only experienced glass worker in the group.  His partners were Charles and Frank Turnbull, Darrell Rector, W. C. Clark, and Charles Mason.  All were Ravenswood residents except for Alley.


There may have been a problem with where the Ravenswood marble machine was acquired, and it might have met an untimely demise at the business end of a sledge hammer.  This part of the history of marble making in Ravenswood seems unclear.


In any case, Mr. Alley soon moved to Sistersville, WV where he started the company for which he is most famous, and in 1931 Charles Turnbull began the Ravenswood Novelty Works.  After this the Ravenswood marble company would be largely a Turnbull family affair.


It appears to have been a fairly successful company and they made many beautiful swirls.  There is some debate over whether they also made patches – these would be the Paul Bunyans, marbles in the 1” range.  An article in the April 1945 issue of Science and Mechanics states that their machines had the ability to make marbles in 7 sizes, ranging from 1/2" to 1-1/4", but Edwin Safreed a longtime employee is cited as saying that their swirls ranged from 3/8” to 3/4".


In 1944, Charles Turnbull passed away and his widow Bertha closed down the company.  Then in 1947, their daughter Edith and her husband Paul Cox returned to Ravenswood and reopened the company.  It would continue to operate until about 1955. 


1955 was a hard year for all American marbles companies thanks to rising costs and especially to competition from Japan.   After Ravenswood closed its doors there were only 5 marble companies still active in the United States.








More information:


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


“Glass Marbles by the Millions”, in Science and Mechanics, April 1945, Bill Random



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