John Frier (1895-1974) founded the Alox company in 1919 in St. Louis with money he earned from dabbling in railroad stocks while he was in the Navy during World War 1. First product was shoelaces for which Frier got a patent for the aiglet, the metal crimping part. In 1927 the company began making kites and expanded further into the toy market with jack sets, toy whips with a whistle on the end, jump ropes and marble-based board games such as Chinese checkers. His son, John Jr. continued the business until his own retirement in 1989 at which time the company was liquidated.
Quote from Frier's granddaughter: "My name is Nancy L Frier and in regards to Alox marbles, my grandfather started Alox Mfg in 1919 in St Louis on Maple ave making shoelaces, the first shoelace factory west of the Mississippi. Then later started the Marble factory on Page ave in Pagedale Mo. The Marble machine is now in Dollywood. John Frier my grampa bought the marble machine from West Virgina and bought marbles first, then started making marbles, the factory ran 24 hours a day. My dad took over Alox and then they had to close the Marble factory."
More about Alox and John Frier – including a a marble website, a history of the company with lots of product pictures, and even more about Frier and Alox.
Frier and Alox names live on, not only thanks to his granddaughter, but the vintage toy collectors of marbles and kites are responsible for several of the above websites. One more website that I found interesting was this one in Antique Week. Even more curious? Try some of these websites....