by Georgia G. Otten
Issue No. 394 - March 2006

Once again, an idea pops up for another "seek and find" mission within various resources. Most everyone associated with collecting Cambridge Windsor Etching glass knows the history of the company and its founder, A. J. Bennett. This information can be gleaned from the NCC website using articles from back issues of the Crystal Ball. The search engine is excellent!

I do not intend to reprint all the information on the company background, just a few tidbits from various articles by various authors to lead into the subject matter. The "idea" I mentioned for this little article is to gather up the British influence on some of the names used by Cambridge Glass Company for etchings, engravings, and even a color.

Arthur J. Bennett (Bennett m. English is the Medieval form of Benedict) was born January 18, 1866 in London, England. His apprenticeship as a young man had been with the London firm, John Mortlock Co. and he gained more experience with the larger firm of Shoolbred's & Barker, Ltd. He came to America sometime in 1882 when he was 16 years old and was first associated with the Jordan March Co., in Boston. Later he was in New York. Breaking his affiliations with B. F. Hunt & Sons, Mr. Bennett entered the manufacturing field at Cambridge. Except for a brief period as general manager for the National Engravings Glass Co., Mr. Bennett.s complete attention has been given to the Cambridge factory.

Mr. Bennett, although living in the United States, frequently traveled back to his native country. He was intrigued with, and had many acquaintances among the Royals. The names of some of the engravings used in Cambridge glass production reflect the admiration Mr. Bennett had for the English Royal family. For example: King Edward, Queen Mary, King George, Crown Prince, Duchess, and Prince Charles.

Another engraving based on an English name is Cordelia. The actual meaning of the name is unknown but could be from a Celtic name meaning "daughter of the sea." This name was first used in this form by Shakespeare, who used it for one of the daughters of King Lear. Another fine engraving with an English influence is #937, Buckingham, which I feel for sure would come from one of the royal residences, Buckingham Palace.

Windsor! Derivation of the name Windsor is "from a surname which was from a place meaning 'riverbank with a windlass' in Old English." Windsor has been the surname of the royal family of England since 1917. Arthur Bennett may have had influence and selected this royal name for use three times: There is an engraving # 500 Windsor, there is a color, Windsor Engravings Blue, described in Colors in Cambridge Glass as "a tone of icy blue in opaque glass" and the name was also given to a fabulous and detailed etching, Windsor. The etching is of a large castle (Windsor Castle?) along a body of water and is combined with a lion medallion. This etching can be found Gold encrusted D/972 or Silver encrusted D/972-S. The etching, plain or encrusted is a most impressive and sought after etching among Cambridge collectors, as are pieces in Windsor Blue.

Cambridge had many engravings, over 350, and many of their names were taken from English town names, gardens, castles, beaches and streets. Examples are: Ardsley #1005; Landsdowne #1049; Dover #1034; Bexley #1072; Exeter #810; Avalon #806; Berkeley #851; Chesterfield #952 and Montrose #1004. Additionally there are: Brentwood #854; Mansard #906; Cranston #960 and Whitehall #981. Also chosen for an engraving name is a probable fictional character. A knight from King Arthur's Court, Lancelot, engraving #76 in the Cambridge record.

While most of the names from England evoke thoughts of royalty, wonderful Engraving gardens and mysterious castles, I did find one name for a Cambridge engraving, Stafford #850, and the internet travel log reads, "Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire in England, and probably the most boring place on the planet. If you ever find yourself in Stafford, here are the best ways to leave." It would seem that Arthur Bennett liked all aspects of England and its history! I am sure there are many other English based names within the Cambridge engravings and perhaps the etchings as well. Please feel free to research those yourself. I surely did not give them all.

With the foresight, wisdom and hard work, Mr. A. J. Bennett, coming from England and borrowing from England's history and daily life, built one of the finest glass production companies, The Cambridge Glass Company, Cambridge, Ohio, USA. "This, then, is the living, active throbbing monument which Arthur Bennett has built and made on his foundation of courage" and which we as collectors of Cambridge glass hold close.