1950 Marble Tournament in LIFE Magazine Photo Archive

Here is a visual treasure trove of marble history for marble collectors everywhere to savor: about 200 photos from the 1950 national marble tournament. Wonderful!

We can thank Google and LIFE magazine for these treasures. Google’s amazing LIFE photo archive will eventually host 10 million high quality, largely unpublished photos from LIFE magazine’s photographic archives. You can also buy nice framed prints of any of the photos.

Here is Gordon Rowse shooting marbles in the finals, 1950. Tilton Holt won that year, but this little Time article mentions Gordon winning in 1951.

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According to a late 19th-century American newspaper ad, you could buy a 'flint' marble for 5 cents, a glass agate for 1 cent, a dozen Chinas for 5 cents, or two-dozen 'commons' for 5 cents.