by Mark Nye
Issue No. 118 - February 1983

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following article is the third of a series of articles by Mark Nye dealing with the "Cambridge Girls", i.e. those etchings bearing girls' names.

The plate etching Elaine was introduced in early 1933. In that year, a supplement to the 1930 Cambridge catalog shows the etching on Tally Ho #1402/100 and #3500 or Gadroon stemware as well as the #1402/34 11½" sandwich plate and the Tally Ho 1402/101/101/8 three piece buffet or Sunday evening supper set. Elaine Etching detail It is fairly certain Elaine was available on more items than the few pictured; however, without the price list that accompanied the catalog supplement, the specific items available in 1933 cannot be determined.

Indications are Elaine was featured during 1933 since apparently this was the year Cambridge bestowed a high honor on the etching, its own trademark in the form of a paper label with "Elaine" on it. This label was discussed by Dave Rankin in the November 1975 issue of "The Cambridge Crystal Ball".Elaine label According to the article, use of the Elaine label was probably discontinued by 1937. The existence of the Elaine label leads one to conclude there was a wide assortment of Elaine etched pieces available during this time period. However, the 1934 catalog supplement featured Elaine on only two stemware lines, Tally Ho #1402/150 and the extra tall #3104 line. One possible explanation for the lack of exposure in the catalog is the existence of a separate Elaine brochure; however this author is not aware of one.

Between the introductory date and 1940, Elaine made its first appearance on other stemware lines, numbers 3035, 3121, 3106 and 3130.

The 1940 catalog and price list reveal how extensive the line was with 27 full catalog pages devoted to illustrating Elaine. The 3400 line was prominently featured and to a lesser extent, the 3500 or Gadroon blank was shown with Elaine. A very extensive 3400 dinnerware line was available including the #49 3½" cranberry, #53 6" cereal, #55 cream soup and saucer, #56 5½" fruit saucer, #63 9½" dinner plate and the #64 10½" plate. Numerous other 3400 line items were also listed.

More than 60 Tally Ho items etched Elaine were available from the 1940 catalog. These included a dinnerware set complete with the #25 10½" service plate, #16 shakers and the #14 fingerbowl. Also listed were the two punch bowls, the #77 13" footed 6 quart bowl and the #64 10½" low footed 4 quart bowl, plus the #140 5 oz. punch cup and #111 ladle.

Eight Pristine and five Martha blanks were in the 1940 Elaine listing. The Pristine offering included the #99 cocktail shaker and the #187 two piece grapefruit or salad icer. Among the Martha blank items was the #188 salad or fruit icer.

When the 1949 catalog was published, seven pages were devoted to Elaine. Two stemware lines were shown, the #3121 and #3500, and the featured blank for the dinnerware and accessory items was Corinth or #3900. However, the available #3121 stemware did not include the 1 oz. brandy or the 2 oz. footed tumbler and the short bowl goblet, 13 oz. footed tumbler and the 2½ oz. footed tumbler were missing from the Gadroon stemware. A dinnerware set was still available, utilizing Corinth blanks, but it was not nearly the size of the 3400 line set from 1940. Three sizes of plates were shown - 6½" bread and butter, 8" salad and the 10 ½" dinner plus the cup and saucer and accessory serving pieces. Other than the Corinth blanks, Elaine was shown on the #968 two piece cocktail icer and a nine piece assortment numbered #1948. This assortment contained the #477 9½" pickle (sometimes called a corn dish), #3500/15 individual creamer and sugar, four other Gadroon occasional pieces and three #3400 items, #1180 two handled bonbon, #1181 6" two handled plate and #90 6" two part relish.

On one of the seven pages of the 1949 catalog showing Elaine, the etching was featured on nine vases and two hurricane lamps. The lamps were #1603, which has a keyhole base, bobeche, six prisms and globe, and the #1617 from the Martha line. The illustrations appear to show both hurricane lamps had the Elaine etching only of the globes.

It is doubtful Elaine was used on anything other than crystal pieces. If it was, this author is not aware of any colored Elaine items. The etching may be found gold encrusted (D/1014) or on crystal with a gold edge on the item (D/1022). These two treatments were listed in the 1940 catalog and probably were first used earlier.

Some time between 1949 and 1956, the Elaine story ended, possibly as late as 1954 with the initial plant closing. None of the price lists or catalogs from the re-open period contain listings for this etching.

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