Diversity and Outstanding Workmanship Define Peltier
It’s been a while since a new marble book has hit the market and with great pleasure I can announce the new effort by Sami Arim along with Mike Johnson and Gino Baffany, as they take us on a photographic tour of Peltier Marbles titled PELTIER GLASS TOY MARBLES An American Legend. Together they have taken this popular series of American made marbles and given us a close-up look at the rise of Peltier from the beginning producing their “Miller,” series of marbles to the rainbows and beyond. A sincere effort is evident on every page as this 204 page heavy glossy hardcover, 9″x 6″, with high quality images taking up 95% of the book.
The book covers Peltier Glass Company’s marble production from 1924 to end of National Line Rainbo style in 1939. The book is divided into 15 chapters along with the three author’s backgrounds included. It’s clear a lot of time was dedicated to the research and photographs used in the book and for collectors of marbles or collectors in general they’ll find this high-quality full-color effort worth reading and keeping handy as a perfect reference when pursuing these beautiful marbles made starting in depression era Ottawa, Illinois. There are always going to be debates on who made the best marbles in this country, there are a lot to choose from. But there is little doubt that Peltier not only stood the test of time producing marbles for a solid 15 years (a long time for a marble maker) but also took the creation of these colorful glass spheres to a new level. Through trial and error they figured out how to allow the myriad of colored glass to combine without thoroughly mixing. The result was a marble that was bright and colorful and when combined into their two and three color National Line Rainbow line, made for some truly spectacular toy marbles. There were other marble companies during the period and before. Akro Agate all but owned the marble market and Christensen Agate Company produced some beautiful marbles that are highly desired today. But Christensen was short lived and their choicest marbles are hard to find. Akro Agate was the more profitable marble company but they didn’t have the selection Peltier did. Other marble companies during the era produced their own line of marbles and these companies included Master Marble, Marble King, Vitro Agate, Alley Agate and more. But it was becoming evident the marbles coming out of Ottawa were in a league of their own. The book starts with a good little history of marbles and then delves right in on the operations of this prolific company, creating new styles of marbles beginning with the Miller Machine and heading right into the National Line Rainbows that are so popular today.transparents. It’s interesting to note that when we think back of marble production during the 20′s and 30′s, how many could they produce for gosh sakes? Well as Arim points out, just from the period from 1914 up to a lawsuit filed in 1929 by the Akro Agate Company against Peltier for patent infringement, Akro had produced as many as 667 million marbles!
Maybe the most exciting thing about Peltier marbles is that unlike marbles made in the 20th century in Germany or to some extent others produced in the U.S., Peltier marbles today are the one marble that have specific fantasy names based on their colors. Oh there are names for other marbles companies products but collecting Peltier is like collecting all of the top comic heroes of the 50′s and 60′s in a piece of glass. Collecting a Superman, Spider Man, Superboy, Green Hornet starts your Action Hero collection and then you can add names like Golden Rebel (black, orange and yellow) John Deere (green and yellow) Zebra (white with black stripes) or a Blue Galaxy (blue, yellow and black). These are just some of the names collectors have given Peltier marbles based on the color and arrangement of the colors and designs in the glass. Peltier’s are also categorized by the era they were made so a collector can find a Miller Rebel or combine a Christmas Tree (green, red and white) with brown and more bright red and you have a Christmas Tree/Rebel combo. Green with black aventurine ribbons creates a Green Rebel and add some brownish aventurine blend and you have an Orion’s Belt. Some colors were used sparingly so when combined with layers of black aventurine, a powdery blue color creates the elusive Blue Panther. Aventurine was a proprietary method of producing a type of glistening effect used mostly in the black glass they incorporated with other brilliant colors to bring out the full flavor of a color and it really set Peltier apart from it’s competitors. In some of the colors they employed aventurine into the glass using red and green to create a Flaming Dragon or throw in some shimmer to a clear and blue transparent marble and you had a Silver Surfer of course. When blended in with mostly black but also blue, green, red glass and so on, there’s no limit to the combinations you can find in these beautiful marbles today. Whether it’s a Ketchup and Mustard (orange and yellow of course) or a Wasp (bright red and black) it’s all good fun and no doubt was a sure fire way to attract the attention of eager kids thirsting for their favorite marbles on the playground in the 1920′s and 30′s.
Peltier Marble produced other types of marbles, as cost cutting began the use of aventurine curtailed and less ornate but still beautiful marbles emerged from the factory. There’s lots to know about these terrific marbles and it’s all here in text and pictures. It’s pretty evident that Peltier Glass Toy Marbles will be the go-to Peltier book for years to come. Although there are some fine books done on the general study of marbles including Peltier, having an almost complete photographic grouping of virtually every marble they produced is a perfect place to start for current and wannabe Peltier collectors. Even some of the most thoroughly researched books on marbles don’t keep up with Peltier Glass Toy Marbles and if it’s an area you’ve yet to become immersed in wait no more. The overall presentation is slick and the photos are just the right size with pictures presented in chronological order.
Peltier Glass Toy Marbles An American Legend is available from Sami Arim at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 925-899-9261. American Bottle Auctions picked up some copies for sale also, for $40 plus $5 postage call us at 1-800-806-7722 or email us at email@example.com.