As a lover of chocolate and of marbles, I was delighted to stumble upon these marble truffles by French Chef Yves Thuries at my local Costco warehouse. I promptly purchased them as part of an office white elephant gift exchange, secretly hoping I might win them back.
According to the box, Mr. Thuries created these truffles with inspiration from the marbles of his childhood. They are very round and polished, measuring about 15/16". From a marble collector's perspective they resemble a mix between the 19th-century polished foil clay marbles and the more recent Vacor de Mexico "Galaxy" marbles.
It turns out the co-worker who won these truffles was not a big eater of sweets, and the box ended up in the office lunch room. We quickly consumed the delicious chocolates and I managed to keep the box for myself as a new storage container for my 1" marbles.
This fascinating article from Harper's Young People describes marbles as they existed in America in 1883.
It brings up the sad reality that child labor in Germany made these marbles so affordable to Americans. 30 years later, early American marble manufacturers would appeal to Congress to raise tariffs in order to compete with the cheap German labor.
Today when we say "marbles" we generally mean glass marbles, but in 1883 marbles were alleys and glass marbles were novelties:
Then comes a very large and beautiful class or variety of alleys known as "glass marbles."
It also mentions contemporary nicknames for German-made marbles, such as the "snow-flake" which based on the image appears to be either a cloud or mica marble.
This article had me asking myself why don't we spell "pee-wee" as they used to, "pea-wee"? As the author says of them:
They are comical little chaps no larger than a good-sized marrowfat pea.
Among the many neat imageÂ processing filtersÂ inÂ Picasa, the free photo organizing tool for Windows, is one calledÂ "HDR-ish" that I think brings out the essence of marbles.Â I applied the HDR-ish filter to this group photo (firstÂ uppingÂ the fade option on the filter), and I think the result really does capture the essence of each marble vividly whileÂ highlighting the best aspects of each marble's construction.
You might disagree, but I recommend you try it--and other filters--on some of your own marble group photos. Here is the original full-sized group photo of these marbles and the full-sized HDR-ish version.
And of course for sheer novelty it is hard to beat inverted colors such as on this group photo of Peltier rainbos. Notice the lamp highlight now appears to be a black eye in the center of each marble.
Once again Morphy Auctions will be auctioning off hundreds of spectacular lots of vintage machine made and handmade marbles as well as some boxes and memorabilia.
The auction takes place at 9AM on May 3rd, 2014 in Denver, PA.
This time they are offering a digital PDF version of their excellent full-color catalogs (which I recommend you purchase). The PDF is nifty, but you will find much higher quality photos via their usual online catalog.
WhenÂ British PathÃ© uploaded its entire historic newsreel archive to YouTube this weekend, I confess that my first search was for marbles. With 85,000 films to search through, I knew I had a good chance to find footageÂ new to me. Sure enough there were several and they did not disappoint.
My favorite so far is footage from 1938 of Headmaster George Briggs of Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tennessee,Â defeating students at marbles for the 10th year in a row.