Formulas for Cambridge Colors in the Hellmers Batch Book

by Les Hansen
Issue No. 350 - June 2002

This provides a quick overview of the categories of colors of Cambridge formulas (with the number of formulas for each category) that appear in the recently published Henry T. Hellmers' Batch Book of Glass Formulae. The names of many of the colors noted by Henry Hellmers are provided here; however, most of the formulas lacked descriptive names. All but five of the names of colors reviewed in the Colors in Cambridge Glass book that had been produced through 1932 (the year that Hellmers left Cambridge) were assigned to specific formulas in the batch book.

------ Transparent - 114 formulas ------
Amber 12 (Amber, Yellow Amber)
Amethyst 9 (Mulberry, Amethyst)
Pale Purple 4 (Heatherbloom)
Blue 23 (Cobalt Blue, Royal Blue, Ritz Blue, Willow Blue, Bluebell, Peacock Blue, Nite Blue, Blue Green)
Green 8 (Emerald Green, Grass Green, Forest Green)
Pink   8  (Peach Blo, Rose Pink)
Ruby (selenium)  25 (Rubina, Ruby)
Ruby (gold) 1 (Experimental Cherry Red)
Yellow 24 (Topaz, Gold Krystol, Golden Shower, Canary Yellow)
------ Black - 4 formulas ------
Black 4 (Ebony)
------ Opal [opaque] - 32 formulas ------
Blue 3  (Turquoise, Azurite)
Green 5 (Jade Green, Pea Green, Pomona Green)
Ivory 1 (Ivory)
Lavender 3 (Helio, Periwinkle)
Pink (Crown Tuscan)
White 13 (White Opal)
Yellow  1 (Yellow Opal)
------ Alabaster and Moonstone - 15 formulas ------
Yellow Alabaster 3  
White Alabaster  2  
Green Alabaster 2  
White Moonstone 5  
Green Moonstone 3  

The five color names that don't appear in the Hellmers batch book are Primrose, Carrara, Madeira, Carmen, and Avocado. Some inferences can probably be made about these Cambridge colors relative to the batch book. "Yellow Opal" might be Primrose, one or more of the many white opals probably is Carrara, and "Yellow Amber" could be Madeira. Also, numerous "Ruby" formulas in the batch book almost certainly are Carmen (Hellmers himself apparently used "Selenium Ruby" when referring to Carmen). Finally, the formula labeled "Pea Green" might be the formula for Avocado.

The Colors in Cambridge Glass book indicates that Avocado is a name assigned by collectors to this color. "Pea Green" probably describes very accurately the Cambridge color referred to as Avocado; however, I must admit Avocado might be a more pleasing color name for collectors than Pea Green.

Additional "named" colors in the Hellmers batch book now deserve discussion and research. These are: Peacock Blue, Nite Blue, Blue Green, Grass Green, Rose Pink, Golden Shower, and Canary Yellow (all transparent colors), as well as Pomona Green and Periwinkle (both are opaque colors). Hellmers placed great significance on formulating the color Golden Shower for Cambridge; however, Gold Krystol was supposedly developed prior to Hellmers' arrival in Cambridge in 1930 and apparently Gold Krystol continued to be used to market yellow transparent glass after he left Cambridge.

Did Golden Shower replace Gold Krystol (at least the formula, if not the name) as the primary light yellow color at some point in the 1930s? Is Pomona Green the name of the light green opaque color in which some Cambridge items are occasionally found? Might Peacock Blue and/or Nite Blue be the Cambridge colors that collectors refer to as Cobalt Blue 1 and/or Cobalt Blue 2? Research is needed to perhaps find answers to these questions in the future.