Cambridge Rainbow

by Lynn Welker
Issue 32, December 1975

HELLO! This is the beginning of a series of articles about Cambridge colors. The spectrum and variation of colors that Cambridge made is a wide one. There is much confusion about exactly which colors are which. These articles will attempt to dissolve some of this confusion and also shed some light on which colors are more rare and in which patterns each color was produced.

One aspect of this confusion stems from the fact that Cambridge changed formulas slightly, giving the color a new name. Also, the attitude of the times and the company advertising campaign often brought about a change in the color name, although there may not have been a formula change.

The Everglades line points out a good example of this. New color names were developed for this line although old formulas were still used. Willow Blue became Mystic Blue, Emerald Green became Jade (this is not the opaque Jade, but the color commonly referred to as Apple Green), Amber became Cinnamon, Peach-Blo became Rose Dubarry and even Crystal was renamed Krystol.

The following is a list of Cambridge colors divided into various shades. This does not include specialty colors renamed for a certain line such as those mentioned for the Everglades line. This list also does not include any experimental colors for which there may or may not be names.

  • BROWN - Amber, Amber-Glo, Mocha
  • GREEN - Emerald (A. Green), Pomona Green, Emerald Green, Pearl Green, Forest Green, Pistachio
  • PINK - Peach-Blo, Peach, Coral, Crown Tuscan, Dianthus Pink, LaRose Pink
  • RED - Ruby, Carmen
  • MISCELLANEOUS - Crystal, Ebony, Carrara, Jade, Rubina, Milk Glass, Sunset, Smoke, Ebon*
  • PURPLE - Mulberry, Heliotrope, Amethyst, Violet, Heatherbloom
  • YELLOW - Ivory, Primrose, Topaz, Gold Krystol, Mandarin Gold
  • BLUE - Azurite, Eleanor Blue, Moonlight Blue, Royal Blue, Windsor Blue, Ritz Blue, Willow Blue, Tahoe Blue

One Point which should be cleared up is that Alpine, Pearl Mist, and Moonstone are not colors, but are a satin finish used on specific lines. Alpine was a technique used on the Caprice Line in which only part of the pattern was frosted. Pearl Mist was a satin finish used on the Everglades Line. Moonstone was a satin finish used mostly on the Seashell Line and is generally found only on one side of the piece (either the exterior or the interior). The one exception in which a color name and finish were combined was the Ebony matt-finished Cambridge Square Line which was called Ebon.

I hope this hasn't confused everybody already. Next month I'll talk about one or two specific colors and hope you can follow me through the tangled Cambridge Rainbow.