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Akro Agate Marbles…. in Indianapolis


Akro Agate may not have been the first marble company in existence in America, but it became a leading force during the Golden Age of American marble making between the two World Wars.  As the boys were returning home from the first war, Akro Agate was ramping up production to meet post war demand.   WW I had virtually eliminated the German imports that were so prevalent at the turn of the century.  Now American companies with superior product quality and innovative colors and styles would dominate both the American and the worldwide marble industry.

Starting out in Akron, Ohio from whence it got its name, Akro Agate soon moved to Clarksburg ,West Virginia where sand and natural gas to make glass were both abundant and cheap.   This move and many innovative patents and marketing strategies allowed Akro to become a dictating force in marble making.

Akro Agate enjoys a number of firsts in marble making and marketing.  It was the first to package marbles in 5 to 25 count containers where the marbles could be viewed through slots or windows.  The company was also first to use a logo with an “A” and crow flying through it with marbles in its beak and each claw.  “Shoot Straight as a Crow Flies” was the company’s slogan and appears on a number of original packaging boxes; another industry first.  At the time, making marbles perfectly round was quite a feat and allowed children better accuracy in marble games on the playground.

Akro also perfected the “spiral” or “corkscrew” as collectors call them.  If you think of a marble in the shape of the earth, the colors will spiral around the marble from pole to pole without touching.  They never patented this innovation due to the fear that it would be copied by rivals.  Instead, how spirals were made remained a trade secret.   For that reason, Akro Agates are among the most easily identifiable for a new collector.  And they are plentiful.

Akro also perfected the use of a color referred to by collectors as “oxblood”.  When you see it, you’ll understand why.  It’s an opaque dark red color with very thin black lines coursing through it.  It can be difficult for new collectors to recognize but is easily identifiable once you have seen a few in person for comparison.  Marbles with oxblood are highly desirable to marble collectors.  As with all collectibles, the rarer and more desirable the piece, the more competition there is to own it; increasing the price.  However, not all Akro Agate marbles are expensive.  There are many examples that can be had for reasonable prices.  


Which is why attending a marble show is so informative.  It allows you the opportunity to learn hands on with individuals who are eager to share their knowledge about a hobby they love.

Akro Agates

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