In Search of a Georgian Tumbler

by Tom Gray
Issue No. 63 - July 1978

During the March 31st Study Group meeting of the Cambridge Squares, some disturbing information was presented to us concerning Georgian tumblers.

For Quite some years now, it has been accepted as "fact" by those of us who collect Cambridge Georgian tumblers that they are easily identified from all others by the "perfect diamond" as opposed to the "hexagon", in the second step around the 9 oz. size. (see illustration below)

Georgian Tumbler illustration It came as rather a shock to us to find that the new book "Paden City The Color Company" by Jerry Barnett, contains a reprint of a company catalog page picturing a Paden City Georgian tumbler that looks exactly like the Cambridge tumbler pictured above. They called it their No. 69 - 8 oz. Tumbler and note that it was also made in assorted colors.

It should also be noted that in this same book there are also shown two pages containing a complete line of 26 items they called their Georgian Line. All of these items are shown with the "Hexagon" such as the "other" tumbler shown above.

So it was, that on April 2nd, a rainy Sunday, my wife Deanne, myself and Charles and Mary Alice Upton set out for Paden City, West Virginia, in search of information concerning Georgian tumblers.

Upon arrival in Paden City, we found the old glass factory quite easily and noted that it now bears the name of Corning Glass Co. We next looked for their local Antique shops, but found none. We did, however, find Lou's Grocery Store open for business and friendly conversation. Here we made inquiries concerning the old Paden City Glas Company and were directed to the home of the local historian, Mr. Otis Brown.

Arriving at Mr. Brown's home, we found him to be a warm and friendly man, who quickly invited us in from the rain. It turned out that not only is Mr. Brown the authority on Paden City History, he is also the Mr. O. O. Brown mentioned in the "credits" by Mr. Barnett, as having supplied the original catalog for his book.

Mr. Brown showed us his catalog and it is in very good condition, with several pages shown in color. He told us he has had several offers to buy the catalog, but he feels it should stay in Paden City.

We visited with him for quite some time and he informed us that he had worked for Paden City Glass Company, and also for the Cambridge Glass Company in 1940. While at the Cambridge Glass Company, we worked as a glass cutter, under Mr. Hershel Hancock. He told us that Cambridge glass was much easier to cut, since it was a softer, finer and much better quality glass than that produced by most local glass companies. He said that the Paden City glass was not a good glass to work with.

As our conversation continued, Mr. Brown told of his experiences when he worked in Cambridge and that while living there he had lived with the Degenhart family for a week or so before moving into an apartment over the Plaza restaurant on Wheeling Ave.

According to Mr. Brown, the Paden City Glass Company was founded in 1916 by Mr. David Fisher one time president and general manager of the New Martinsville Glass Manufacturing Company. When Mr. Fisher came to Paden City he brought with him the best of the salesmen and a lot of the New Martinsville patterns and colors. The Corning Glass Company purchased the Paden city Glass Company in 1951, and have maintained continuous operation. They are making Corning Ware there today.

We asked Mr. Brown if he could supply us with any information concerning the Paden City Georgian items. He said he thought he had one tumbler around somewhere, but could not find it. He promised that he would try to locate one for us and send it to us for comparison to ours.

Thus, our trip ended and we did not find the information we had hoped for concerning our Cambridge "look alike", but we did have a most fascinating day. The answer to our question "How do you tell the difference between the Paden City Georgian tumbler and the Cambridge one?" will have to go unanswered for the present.

If any of our fellow N.C.C. members can shed any further light on this subject, won't you please write and share your information with us.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: It was suggested at the Saturday morning meeting during our Convention that we might possibly carry 9 oz. of water with us - since the Paden City tumbler supposedly holds 8 oz. Sorry to have to inform you that this idea won't "hold water" so to speak! We own only one Triangle C 9 oz. Georgian tumbler, and it won't hold 9 oz. of water! 8½ oz. was the most it would hold! The best we can suggest at this point is to make sure your Georgian tumbler is a known Cambridge color - and trust your intuition!)