by Mark Nye
Issue No. 445 - February 2011

"Patent A grant made by a government to an inventor, assuring him the sole right to make, use, and sell his invention for a certain period of time." The American Heritage Desk Dictionary.

At the time the Cambridge Glass Company was in operation, there were two basic types of patents, design and mechanical. Design patents covered the design of an object while mechanical patents dealt with processes and methods of manufacturing. A patent is not issued to a company, rather it is issued to an individual who may or may not then assign it to a company. It was the usual practice for a company employee to assign the patent to his or her employer.

Patents were granted for varying lengths of time, beginning with three and one half years and the fee the United States Patent Office charged increased with the length of time for which the patent was valid.

The formal and legal name for a patent is "Letters Patent" and most individuals have probably never seen an actual patent document. National Cambridge Collectors, Inc acquired, from the Willard Kolb estate, many of the patents, design and mechanical, that relate to the Cambridge Glass Co. and several of these are on display at the Museum. In order for all members to see what an actual Letters Patent is, Design Patent No. 85389 covering the 3126 goblet, is reproduced here.

The 3126 goblet design patent is a simple one, one page of drawings, a few paragraphs of claims and the Letters Patent with its red seal and blue ribbon. Most Cambridge design patents were similar in nature. Mechanical patents could have several pages of claims and drawings.

The original Cambridge Glass Company, through its owners and employees, were granted 95 design patents, of which three were quickly assigned to Oneida Silver Company. These patents covered the Deauville stemware, a stemware line matching a silver pattern designed and marketed by Oneida. Mechanical patents, issued primarily to Arthur J. Bennett or Wilbur L. Orme, number thirteen.

The reorganized Cambridge Glass Company, incorporated in early 1955, obtained four design patents. These covered the Today and Allegro stemware and the cutting Wedding Rings. More on Cambridge Glass Company patents at a later date.

Webmaster's NOTE: This web site contains copies of many of the patents assigned to the Cambridge Glass Company. You can find the index of patents at:

Patent page 1
Patent page 2
Letters Patent