The Cambridge Glass Company Sample Room Glass

by Cindy Arent
Issue No. 354 - October 2002

The glassware from the Sample Room at the Cambridge Glass Company has been returned to Cambridge, Ohio, as the latest NCC Museum acquisition. Following is a brief history of the Sample Room glassware since it left the Cambridge factory.

The Cambridge Glass Company closed in 1958 and the contents liquidation began at that time. In 1960, the Imperial Glass Corporation Mardi Grasbought all of the Cambridge assets, except the building and grounds. Items acquired included moulds, tools, and a large quantity of Cambridge production which was still in the showroom. All of these pieces were moved to the Imperial factory in Bellaire, Ohio. In late 1975, shortly after the Bellaire Glass and Artifacts Museum opened, Imperial (now owned by Lenox) offered the Bellaire Glass and Artifacts Museum their choice of the Cambridge pieces which they would incorporate into the glass display at their museum. They chose several hundred pieces and moved them to their museum. The Bellaire Glass and Artifacts Museum closed in 1995. Since that time the glassware has been in storage.

At the 2002 Imperial Glass Collectors Society Convention, Willard Kolb spoke to attorney Richard Lancione, who represents the Bellaire Glass and Artifacts Museum. Willard mentioned that the NCC might be interested in purchasing the Sample Room glassware from them.

Nude stem items
Pink crackle nudes and all-pink ashtray

Willard took the inventory list to Lynn Welker so a fair offer could be made by NCC. Since that time, Willard has worked diligently with Bellaire board members Helen Clark, Bill Starrett, Lucille Kennedy, Ralph Hadley, and Alice Starrett. Willard submitted an offer from NCC and it was accepted by their board of directors. If it had not been for these people working cooperatively, the glassware would not have been acquired by our museum. The NCC owes all of these people a THANK YOU for their hard work and effort.

On Saturday, August 17, a truck and two vans traveled to Bellaire to retrieve 40 boxes of Cambridge glass. NCC members making the trip were Carl and Shirley Beynon, Rich and Steve Bennett, Sharon Miller, and Cindy Arent. Officers Bill Starrett, Helen Clark, Ralph Hadley and Alice Starrett of the Bellaire Glass and Artifacts Museum welcomed us warmly and helped load the boxes.

When we arrived back at the museum, it didn't take long to open the boxes because we were so excited! A few of the items unpacked were 10 pieces of Mardi Gras. [Part of this is pictured on the cover.] NCC Museum employee Dorothy Golden, who also worked at the Cambridge Glass Company, was very excited because she suggested the name Mardi Gras when Cambridge management was searching for a name for the new Glass cleaning crewline. Initially, Dorothy said that they were going to name the line Confetti. However because it was Mardi Gras time in New Orleans, Dorothy suggested they name it Mardi Gras.

After the NCC Quarterly meeting on August 24, a group of members (pictured at right) cleaned the glassware at the museum. Members were very careful not to remove the original Sample Room labels. The glassware is now ready to be numbered, entered into the museum inventory system, and placed in the Museum Sample Room exhibit and display cases. Again, thank you to everyone who worked on this project. We are very fortunate to have so many members and friends working for the betterment of our organization.