Barred olivine (BO) chondrules are some of the most striking objects in chondrites. Their ubiquitous presence and peculiar texture caught the attention of researchers and, as a consequence, considerable effort has been expensed on unraveling their origin(s). Here we report on a detailed study of two types of chondrules: the Classic and the Multiple-Plate Type of BO chondrules from the Essebi (CM2), Bishunpur (LL3.1), Acfer 214 (CH3) and DAG 055 (C3-UNGR) chondrites, and discuss the petrographic and chemical data of their major mineral phases and glasses. Glasses occur as mesostasis or as glass inclusions, the latter either enclosed inside the olivine bars (plates) or still connected to the mesostasis. The chemical composition of all glasses, characterized by being Si–Al–Ca-rich and free of alkali elements, is similar to those of the constituents (the building blocks, such as chondrules, aggregates, inclusions, mineral fragments, etc.) of CR and CV3 chondrites. They all have high trace element contents (∼10×CI) with unfractionated CI-normalized abundances of refractory trace elements and depletions in moderately volatile and volatile elements with respect to the refractory trace elements. The presence of alkali elements (Na+K+Rb) is coupled with a low Ca content and is only observed in those glasses that have behaved as open systems. This result supports the previous finding that Ca was replaced by alkalis (e.g., Na–Ca exchange), presumably through a vapor–solid reaction. The glasses apparently are the quenched liquid from which the olivine plates crystallized. However, they do not show any chemical fractionation that could have resulted from the crystallization of the olivines, but rather have a constant chemical compositions throughout the formation of the chondrule. In a previous contribution we were able to demonstrate the role of these liquids in supporting crystal growth directly from the vapor. Here we extend application of the primary liquid condensation model to formulate a new model for the origin of BO chondrules. The primary liquid condensation model is based on the ability of dust-enriched solar-nebula gas to directly condense into a liquid, provided the gas/dust ratio is sufficiently low. Thus, we propose that chondrules can be formed by condensation of a liquid droplet directly from the solar nebula. The extensive variability in chemical composition of BO chondrules, which ranges from alkali-poor to alkali-rich, can be explained by elemental exchange reactions with the cooling nebula. We calculate the chemical composition of the initial liquid droplet from which BO chondrules could have formed and speculate about the physical and chemical conditions that prevail in the specific regions of the solar nebula that can promote creation of these objects. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.