Dover Museum Will Celebrate Iowa Museum Week

Written by Theresa Rose on June 12, 2018

Iowa Museum Week will be celebrated at the Dover Museum June 16th and 17th with a special display of marbles, both old and contemporary hand blown examples by Mark Matthews that you will appreciate and enjoy.  Sulfides, swirls, and Benningtons are some of the types exhibited.  Marble game boards, baskets of marbles, and individual specimens will be included in this colorful display.


Marbles can be made of clay, stone, or glass.  The first mass produced marbles made in the United States were made of clay in Akron, Ohio.  Some of the first mass produced glass marbles were made by James Leighton. Martin Christensen, also of Akron, made the first machine-made glass marbles in 1903.  That company ceased production in 1917.  Akro Agate entered the market in 1911.  Today there are only two American-based toy marble manufacturers: Jabo Vito in Reno, OH and Marble King in Paden City, WV.


More than 100 years ago, most boys owned marbles as ‘playing marbles’ was a popular pastime.  All one needed was a flat section of dirt in which to draw a circle and two or more boys with marbles.  Each player had his favorite ‘shooter’, a larger marble.


The World Champion and British Marbles Championship has been held every year since 1932 in Tinsley Green, West Suffex, England.


The museum is open 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.  The marble exhibit will be extended through July 1.  There is no charge.  To view the display other times, please call 319-367-2573.