A group of three glass marbles fused together. Largest marble is misshapen and mostly opaque, but some interior colors are visible. Attached are two smaller marbles: one clear with colored interior swirls, the other black with yellow spots
These marbles were fused together by the heat of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and saved as a memento of the event.
These marbles were one of the many everyday items found after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The fire destroyed three and a half square miles of city and the residences of one- third of the city's inhabitants. It also claimed the lives of nearly 300 Chicagoans. At its most intense, it was hot enough to melt even glass, as demonstrated by these marbles. After the fire ended, work crews and ordinary residents found and saved everyday items like this as reminders of the fire's destructive force.