Losing My Marbles

Well not really, but somebody did and I found one in my yard yesterday.

A few weeks back I wrote about a disturbing object that appeared in my yard at our old house. Well, it happened again, though this time the unearthed object is a bit more whimsical and less threatening.

Arriving home after a busy day of teaching kids about CT history I found my boys playing in their sandbox. After joining them and helping to build a few tunnels and roads I decided to check out my garden to see if my carrot or swiss chard seeds had sprouted yet. On the way a glint of blue caught my eye. I expected it to be a Hot Wheels or the like but was surprised to see a pretty blue and white glass marble partly exposed in the moss/grass. Removing it, I showed the boys who were somewhat impressed but more into their sand city. I stuck it into my pocket and figured their must be some kind of Connecticut invention connection to this…..

A few things showed up on the Connecticut Patents Database and one from Bridgeport caught my eye. In 1876 Albert D. Laws was granted Patent # 184717 for an ” Improvement in Marble-Shooters”.

Marble Shooter-1876

Growing up I was never that in to marbles. I had them but never really did much with them other than rolling them around or hauling them in Tonka trucks. Back in my Archaeology days I do remember finding several ceramic ones on a dig in North Dakota and thought that was pretty cool. This one I found just made me smile for some reason. It made me think of simpler times, kids shooting marbles without a care in the world on a hot summer day. Who lost the marble? Me, my brothers or sisters who lived in the house? Or the families before us, from the mid 19th century forward?

Even after what I imagine are many years in the dirt its colors remind me of what the earth looks like from outer space, blue oceans with swirling white clouds.

I wonder what my kids are losing in the lawn that someone will find years from now?


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