It is hard to determine who invented marbles because--like many games--incarnations of this activity has existed for centuries. Various cultures participated in games in which they played with tiny balls that resembled marbles. In the 19th century, though, men from around the world played a hand in inventing marble-making technology to mass-produce these balls.
Archeological evidence concludes that people have played marble games for centuries. Marbles have been found in such distinct areas of the world as Egyptian tombs, Native American burial grounds and Aztec pyramids.
In 1846, a German glass blower named Elias Johann Christoph Simon Carl Greiner invented marble scissors, which was actually a mold that standardized the marble making process.
Samuel C. Dyke
In Ohio, Samuel C. Dyke modernized marble making when, in 1884, he invented machinery that could inexpensively mass produce marbles.
Dyke founded The American Marble & Toy Manufacturing Company, becoming the largest toy company in the United States at that time. He inspired others to get into the business of marble making.
In 1905, Martin Fredrick Christensen received a patent on a machine that increased the production of glass marbles to more than 10,000 a day.
Japanese marble makers invented cat's eye marbles by infusing colored glass into clear glass.