Akro Agate Glass Akro Agate Glass

Akro Agate glass

Akro Agate glass "Lilly"
vase no. 658
with makers mark.

from the

Glass Encyclopedia

Akro Agate Glass: A short explanation

Akro Agate was set up in Akron, Ohio in 1911 by George T. Rankin, Gilbert Marsh, and Horace C. Hill. Rankin and Marsh had the idea of making marbles and selling them in boxes at Gilbert Marsh's shoe store. Horace Hill was an expert marble maker, and they set up their machinery over Marsh's shop in Akron. Three years later they were doing so well that they moved their business to a large building in Clarksburg, West Virginia. They operated for forty years, until 1951. They made only marbles until 1932, when the company expanded into a range of small items including children's tea sets, ashtrays, flower pots and novelties.

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Akro Agate succeeded in the marble business largely because of the innovations in technology which they introduced. During the 1920s they invented, patented, and operated systems which made the process of making complex marble designs entirely by machine. Their machines produced the type of marble known as an Akro Agate spiral, and because the techniques combined patented machines and "secret" processes, they can be identified as Akro Agate marbles even today. Akro Agate marbles have become highly collectible, especially when they are still in their original packaging.

Akro Agate began producing pressed glass in the 1930s, partly in response to increased competition in the marble market. Most of their pressed glass was opaque and most often there were coloured streaks in the glass, like the example in the picture above left. The company called this "blended colors" or "multi- colors" but today's collectors would probably call it "slag glass".

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The company's logo is a crow flying through the letter A (A kro = a crow) and holding a marble in its beak and another in each claw. This mark appears on the base of Akro Agate glasware (not on marbles) and on their boxes and packaging media.

During the war they were very successful in marketing their children's tea sets and other glassware. Unfortunately after the war, when cheap imports could once again be imported, they found it hard to compete and in 1951 they closed.

If you are looking for examples - click Akro Agate glass

There are some helpful books which will make it easier to identify and value your collection. Some of the best were written a long time ago (see references below) but one or two are recent. Click on any book cover to read more about that book.

Akro Agate by Florence Revised 1992 Florence Akro Agate 1975 Akro Agate Line 1992 Akro Agate by Bud Appleton 1972 Akro Agate book

Marbles Identification Collecting Marbles book Popuilar American Marbles book

References and Sources:
  • The Collector's Encyclopedia of Akro Agate Glassware (Dec 1992) Revised edition by Gene Florence. This revised version is old now, but still an invaluable reference source.
  • The collectors encyclopedia of Akro Agate glassware (1975) by Gene Florence. No matter the age, this book is full of invaluable information about the history and output of the Akro Agate company. There is a revised edition published in 1992
  • The Complete Line of Akro Agate ( (April 1992) by Roger and Claudia Hardy. Plenty of very useful information.
  • Akro Agate (Jan 1972) by Dr. Bud Appleton.
  • "Akro Agate's Spiral Marbles" by Mark E Randall and Dennis Webb, Glass Collectors' Digest volume 3 no. 4, January 1990.
  • "Glass Marbles from Akro Agate" by Joseph A.A. Bourque Sr., Glass Collectors' Digest volume 2 no. 1, July 1988.

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Pirelli Glass

This is the 'go to' reference book if you are interested in Pirelli Glass.
It offers collectors a comprehensive history of Pirelli glass and its makers, from its inception in the mid 40s to 1980 when the company closed.
The book is filled with colour photographs, original black and white catalogue photographs, stories and a miriad of information on Pirelli and Vasart glass.
(review by Jackie S. from Canada)

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The first part of this Trilogy covers Pirelli, Bimini, and Komaromy.
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It is available as a paperback book or as a downloadable Kindle.

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