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Automated Glass Marble Machine

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In 1902, a resident of Akron, Ohio, Martin F. Christensen, invented an automated machine that could manufacture glass marbles. Traditionally, workers made marbles by hand from clay or stone, including marble. By the 1800s, manufacturers began to use glass to make marbles. Glass marbles became easier to produce once marble scissors, which helped workers shape molten glass into a marble shape, were invented in 1846, yet marble manufacturing was still done primarily by hand and remained a time-consuming process. Christensen's invention made glass-marble production an entirely automated process.
Unfortunately for Christensen, the M.F. Christensen and Son Company did not remain in business long. While Christensen's invention dramatically sped up and reduced the cost of glass marble production, a shortage of natural gas during the winter of 1916-1917 forced the company to cease operations in December 1917. The firm needed natural gas to heat the glass. The natural gas shortage caused the M.F. Christensen and Son Company to scale back production during the winter of 1916 and 1917, and the firm never regained financial stability.
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