Hidden From Sight for 75 Years

By Bill Courter
April 2007 - Issue 406 Willow Blue Decagon

Henry Hellmers, Cambridge glasshouse superintendent 1930-32, liked blue glass. He developed Royal Blue (see Les Hansen, The Cambridge Colors: Royal Blue, Crystal Ball, June 2003) and he revised Willow Blue for heat resistant dinnerware in 1931.

While at Cambridge, Hellmers sent a 27 piece luncheon set of Willow Blue dishes to Karl and Marion Hellmers in Lookout, PA. They also liked blue, but Marion apparently was afraid of breaking the beautiful dishes and she never unpacked them. The box of dishes was later given to Mae Jensen, sister of Helen Hellmers Adams.

The dishes remain unused and stored in the same box today. Helen wonders "if the dishes will ever see the outside world?"

These photographs from Helen are a record of the Willow Blue dishes made at Cambridge when her Uncle Henry worked there.

Henry T. Hellmers' Batch Book of Glass Formulae, that I published and presented to the Cambridge Club in 2002, lists several formulas for Willow Blue. The first were Cambridge dinnerware formulas dated 1925 and 1928. Later formulas were dated 1931 and 1932 with heat resistant dinnerware in 1931.

Thanks to Helen Adams and Mae Jensen for unpacking the dishes for these pictures.

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