What Are You Doing in There?

By Georgia G. Otten
August 2003 - Issue #364

Inspiration for me seems in short supply. However, just when I think I could not come up with another topic, something or someone gives me an idea. I find I consider the diverse groupings a person might select for a collection of Cambridge glass. So if and when a theme hits, I get the Cambridge books and catalogs and try to find the glass to go with that theme. So ...

Have you ever thought about the fact that there seems to be one room in a home where a person's occupancy is questioned? It's true; there is only one room. IT IS THE BATHROOM! At some point in life, I am sure each one of has heard these words: Hey, what are you doing in there? While there are many possible answers to that question, the Cambridge Glass Company would have been hoping to hear that their products made especially for that room were being used and/or admired by the current occupant of the room!

Cambridge produced many different colognes, perfume bottles and puff boxes. Any of those might easily be found in a bathroom. But there are some other basic and very functional items not so well known as the perfumes. Beginning in the early 1900's under the "Nearcut" trademark, Cambridge produced the 2800 Community line and one could find wonderful necessities/accessories for the bath. From the large ewer and basin to the pin tray, covered soap, and brush holder, it was all there. But what color to choose? Primrose, Carrara Azurite? You say Mulberry? Well, homemakers had choices and decisions to make!

Staying with the basics, there was an item just for the men. It is the No. 826 Sani-Shaving kit which was designed to hold a razor, blades, styptic pencil, cream and brush! The cover for this set has a hole in the knob for ventilating purposes. An example can be found in the 27-29 Catalog Reprint as well as in the Colors book. Finding it elsewhere is more difficult! And I have to make a personal confession here ... when I bought one these many years ago I thought I had bought part of the desk set!

Cambridge also produced a line of storage containers: the bathroom bottles. I have seen these in Peachblo, Emerald (early light), Ebony, Crystal, and Crystal with Ebony stoppers. So there was no doubt of the intended use, some of the bottles will be found etched with one the following: Cotton, Bicarb Soda, Witch Hazel, Mouthwash, Listerine, Epsom Salts, Toilet Water, Boric Acid, Alcohol, Hand Lotion, or Bath Salts. I have also seen an Ebony set with gold lettering and decoration! What a great display to have any of these bottles lined up on the No. 1197 15" X 3 1/2" tray or the No. 1198 6" square tray! If a primary or brighter color would better suit your décor, consider the bottles from the Mt. Vernon line in Carmen, Royal Blue or Forest Green. Another fascinating item for the bath, rather than an aerosol freshener, would be a wonderful perfume lamp, essence of your choice, and with the globe by Cambridge of course!

Not counting various shapes found in the Special Article perfumes or the numerous colors, I found over fifty items which could be used at the vanity in the bathroom. Now that would be quite a grouping! It would take a long time to look at all that and appreciate it. Perhaps that is just what you could be doing in there!