Youth Media and Communication Initiative (YMCI)
Empowering Tomorrow's Leaders



Marble (toy)


In the early twentieth century, small balls of stone, identified by archaeologists as marbles, were found on excavation near Mohenjo-daro.Marbles are often mentioned in Roman literature, as in Ovid's poem Nux (which mentions playing the game with walnuts), and there are many examples of marbles from excavations of sites associated with Chaldeans of Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. They were commonly made of clay, stone or glass. Marbles arrived in Britain, imported from the Low Countries, during the medieval era.

In India, there are many games with marbles. One simple game with marbles is called "Cara" in which every player puts one or more marbles in a long line of marbles with each marble being one centimeter or slightly more, apart from each other. After this, each player throws another marble as far as possible from the line, perpendicularly. In this game, the player whose marble is farthest from the line of marbles gets the first chance to hit the marble's line and subsequent players who get to hit the line have their distance from the line in decreasing order. Any player who hits and displaces a marble in the line of marbles gets to take that and all marbles to the right of it. Usually, marbles in the line are smaller marbles and the players have bigger marbles for hitting the line of smaller marbles.This game needs the playground to be flat and hard and with no loose soil for effecting games of "Cara". The number of players can be anywhere between 2 and 30. The distances of the marbles thrown determine order of players who get to hit the line are anywhere from 10 to 30 meters and may depend on player's desire to hit the marble line first and how much risk they will take so that they would be at some distance and yet be able to hit the line of marbles and get more than 2 marbles. Players have to roll their marbles from a distance to hit the line of marbles. Each player gets to hit the line of marbles only once assuming there are marbles left in the line and every player gets a turn in order. In a line of twenty marbles, its reasonable to get at least 5 to 20 marbles depending on how skillful somebody is at hitting the line of marbles. When all marbles are taken by players as above the game is restarted with players putting their marbles in the line and trying to win as many marbles as possible.If some marbles are left in the line after each player takes a chance, the players again throw their marbles perpendicularly to this line and start to roll their marble to hit the line according to the above rules. This process is repeated until all marbles are taken in the game.

The British and World Marbles Championship has been held at Tinsley Green, West Sussex, England, every year since 1932. (Marbles has been played in Tinsley Green and the surrounding area for many centuries: TIME magazine traces its origins to 1588.) Traditionally, the marbles-playing season started on Ash Wednesday and lasted until midday on Good Friday: playing after that brought bad luck. More than 20 teams from around the world take part in the championship, each Good Friday; German teams have been successful several times since 2000, although local teams from Crawley, Copthorne and other Sussex and Surrey villages often take part as well; the first championship in 1932 was won by Ellen Geary, a young girl from London.

Marble players often grow to collect marbles after having outgrown the game. Marbles are categorized by many factors including condition, size, type, manufacturer/artisan, age, style, materials, scarcity, and the existence of original packaging (which is further rated in terms of condition). A marble's worth is primarily determined by type, size, condition and eye-appeal, coupled with the law of supply and demand. Ugly, but rare marbles may be valued as much as those of very fine quality. However, this is the exception, rather than the rule - "Condition is King" when it comes to marbles. Any surface damage (characterized by missing glass, such as chips or pits) typically cuts book value by 50% or more.

Marbles were originally made by hand. Stone or ivory marbles can be fashioned by grinding. Clay, pottery, ceramic, or porcelain marbles can be made by rolling the material into a ball, and then letting dry, or firing, and then can be left natural, painted, or glazed. Clay marbles, also known as crock marbles or commies (common), are made of slightly porous clay, traditionally from local clay or leftover earthenware ("crockery"), rolled into balls, then glazed and fired at low heat, creating an opaque imperfect sphere that is frequently sold as the poor boy's "old timey" marble. Glass marbles can be fashioned through the production of glass rods which are stacked together to form the desired pattern, cutting the rod into marble-sized pieces using marble scissors, and rounding the still-malleable glass.

There were a lot of businesses that made marbles in Ohio. One major marble manufacturing company is Marble King, located in Paden City, West Virginia, which was featured in the television shows Made in America, Some Assembly Required and The Colbert Report. Currently, the world's largest manufacturer of playing marbles is Vacor de Mexico. The company makes 90 percent of the world's marbles. Over 12 million are produced daily.




Contact Web Master YMCI Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved