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Marbles of the 70s

Updated February 21, 2017

In the 1970s, many children had bags or boxes containing many different sizes and colours of marbles with different names. The game was played on dirt or concrete. The object of the game was to flick your marble with your finger to try to hit your opponent's marble and claim his marble as your own. There were many variations and rules of the game of marbles.

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Agate marbles were glass and had different names. There were cat eyes, solids, rainbows, clearies and steelies. Cat eyes were the sought after marbles that opponents wanted to win for their collections. Clearies were used regularly if kids didn't want to lose their steelies or cat eyes.


Marbles were different sizes. Generally, children had all different sizes, but the prize marbles were the one-inch diameter marbles, which were larger and could cover more space when trying to win a marble from an opponent. Other sizes were 3/4-inch, 5/8-inch, 7/8-inch and 9/16-inch.


Cat eyes are clear with a colour wedge inside the marble that resembled a cat's eye. Rainbows were marbles of multiple colours. Solids were opaque marbles of a one colour. Clearies allowed light to pass through. Marble colours ranged from white to purple, with many colours in between.


Steelies weren't exactly marbles, but solid steel balls used as marbles to overtake the opponent's marbles or steelies. Steelies were one-inch in diameter; small steelies were one 1/2-inch. The smaller steelies were harder to hit, but had the power to hit the opponent's marbles.

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About the Author

Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years experience writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. She studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.

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