Cambridge Jugs, Part I

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 137 - September 1984

The January 1, 1940 Cambridge Glass Company catalog devoted four complete pages to jugs, or what most people now call pitchers. On these four pages, 34 jugs were illustrated and in two cases mention was made of other size or sizes for a total of 39 being offered by Cambridge during 1940.

Over the next several months I will be discussing all of these jugs. Be aware that the major emphasis will be placed on availability in 1940 and the later years. Some of the jugs being sold in 1940 date back to as early as 1930 or before and are known in colors, etchings or color and etching combinations not listed here since I am including only those examples for which I have documented proof and have not relied on memory to cite specific jugs.

Note: All jugs referenced in this article are shown in the Catalog page that appears at the end of this article.

The Ball shape line was patented by Cambridge in June 1931 and it is from this line our first three jugs come. As most, if not all, readers are aware, the Ball shape line is not a separate line but rather a part of a much larger Cambridge line, the #3400. Hence, Ball shape items carry #3400 line item numbers.

Gloria jug The #3400/38 80oz. Ball shape jug with ice lip first appeared in 1931 and was shown in the 1931 catalog supplement with silver encrusted Gloria on a blank of unknown color, which probably was amethyst. It was shown in this same catalog supplement etched Apple Blossom, Lorna and Gloria and one should not be surprised to find this jug with any of the etchings in use during and after 1931.

Diane, Elaine and Portia would have been used for the first time on the #3400/38 jug during this time period; however they continued to be used on this blank on into the 1940s. In the early 1930s, the #3400/38 jug was being made in forest green, willow blue, amber, peachblo, gold krystol, crystal and heatherbloom. Etchings from the 1930s will be found on colored as well as crystal blanks. This included Apple Blossom, Lorna, Gloria, Diane and Portia.

During the early to mid-1930s, the #3400/38 jug was being engraved with Rock Crystal cuttings as well as being utilized in the Varsity Sport Glassware line and in the Sport Novelties line. The #3400/38 jug is shown in the 1931 Catalog supplement in Ebony with D/983-S Polo Game. (This is silver decoration, as denoted by the S.)

The January 1940 Cambridge catalog offered the #3400/38 jug in nine colors: crystal, amber, emerald (light), dianthus, moonlight, forest green, royal blue, amethyst and carmen. Seven different etchings were being done on this jug at that time, plain and in some cases also gold encrusted or with a gold edge. Blossom Time and Chantilly on this piece were done plain only; while Elaine was available on the #3400/38 jug plain or with a gold edge. Diane and Portia on this jug were available plain or gold encrusted; while Rosepoint and Wildflower were being done plain, with a gold edge or gold encrusted.

The #3400/38 Ball shaped jug gave rise to other ball shaped jugs in various other Cambridge lines, but as #3400/38 it was discontinued prior to 1949.

Cambridge jugs present an almost endless array of possibilities for a "type" collection. To collect this one jug, #3400/38, in all colors, etchings, decorations and combinations thereof, it would mean at lest 23 jugs from 1940 and probably an equal number from the 1930s, with no duplication of those from the 1940s. This would not be a collection quickly assembled, but just think of the challenge. Besides, you would never know when it was completed!

The #3400/114 72 oz. jug is simply a smaller version of the #3400/38 and is listed in the 1940 catalog, undecorated, in the colors of amber, forest green, royal blue and amethyst. Note that this is the only jug from 1940 not made in crystal although it was no doubt made in crystal during the early years. The 1933 Cambridge catalog supplement devoted a full page to the Ball shape line and there the #3400/114 jug was listed as a 64 oz size and later was increased in capacity. You will find this jug in colors from the 1930s and also possibly decorated during the same time period.

The Cambridge Aero Optic line was first shown in January 1929, but the #3400/114 Ball shape Aero Optic jug dates to 1931 or after. It was offered thru the 1940 catalog in colors of crystal, amber, dianthus and moonlight. It is very possible it was made in other colors during the 1930s, colors such as light emerald, gold crystal and willow blue.

Both of the #3400/114 jugs were dropped from the Cambridge line during the 1940s, as neither appear in the 1949 catalog.

The #3400/100 76 oz. jug with ice lip can be traced back to at least the 1932 Catalog supplement in which it was shown engraved Laurel Wreath. By 1940 it was being made in crystal, amber, forest green, royal blue, amethyst and carmen. The crystal blanks were being offered etched Diane, Portia, Elaine, Rosepoint and Wildflower. You may find that other etchings, colors and engravings were used in conjunction with this jug during the 1930s. Note that as #3400/100 this jug has an ice lip. Without the ice lip, it was known as #3400/101, a version, that due to its absence from the 1940 catalog, appears to have been discontinued during the 1930s.

Like most of the jugs being made in 1940, the #3400/100 was discontinued prior to 1949, but a similar jug does appear in the #3900 line during 1949 and the 1950s.

Look carefully at the next three jugs and note the sometimes subtle difference between them. The 1940 Cambridge catalog designated only the #3400/152 76 oz. jug as a Doulton. The #3400/141 80 oz. jug, similar in style, was not listed as a Doulton nor was the pinched version of the 76 oz. size, the #3400/154. All three of these jugs had their origins in the 1930s and the #3400/152, in crown tuscan, is shown in the 1930-34 Catalog Reprint. Like the preceding jugs, it would be unwise to rule out most possible color/etching combinations from the 1930s.

According to the January 1, 1940 price list, the #3400/141 jug was being made in crystal, forest green, royal blue and amethyst. The #3400/152 or Doulton jug was being made in crystal only with handles of amber, forest green, royal blue and crystal; while the #3400/154 pinched jug was being offered in crystal, amber, royal blue and amethyst. The latter jug was the only one of these three not being etched as the 940s opened.

The #3400/141 80 oz. jug in crystal was to be had etched Diane, Portia, Elaine, Rosepoint and Wildflower. Rosepoint and Wildflower etched jugs were also available gold encrusted or with a gold edge while Elaine jugs were being offered gold encrusted as well as plain.

One of the few jugs from 1940 to survive into the 1950s, the #3400/141 was listed in 1950 with Candlelight, Chantilly, Diane, Elaine, Portia and Rosepoint etchings on crystal blanks. A #3400/141 80 oz. jug was still listed as being available in 1953 with the same etchings except for Candlelight and Portia. However, the appearance of this 1950s jug is somewhat different than that of the 1940 version of the #3400/141 jug, the older version being much more graceful.

In addition to the 80 oz. size, the #3400/141 jug was also listed in the October 1953 price list with a capacity of 76 oz. It is the smaller size that is found listed under the heading JUGS in this price list and is the one listed and shown etched Daffodil and Magnolia. The 76 oz. size closely resembles the later 80 oz. style, not the 1940 jug.

According to existing price lists from the time, none of the #3400/141 jugs were produced during the reopen period.

The Doulton jug, #3400/152, was offered in the 1940 catalog with all eight of the etchings then being used by Cambridge; Blossom Time, Chantilly, Candlelight, Diane, Portia, Elaine, Rosepoint and Wildflower. They were being placed on crystal blanks with crystal handles and most were also available with added gold embellishment. Rosepoint, Wildflower, Blossom Time and Chantilly Doulton jugs were being made gold encrusted or with a gold edge, Candlelight was only being done with gold encrustation and Elaine had only an optional gold edge. During this period, Portia on this jug was not available with optional gold decorations.

The #3400/152 76 oz. Doulton jug and the #3400/154 pinched jug were both discontinued sometime during the 1940s as neither appear in the 1949 catalog.

The #119 83 oz. ice lipped jug was picture in the 1930 Cambridge catalog, etched Tulip, but actually may date to the 1920s. While it is shown only the one time, it could have been produced in a variety of colors, etchings and decorations during the 1930s.

Beginning in January 1940, the #119 jug was made in five colors: amber, forest green, royal blue and amethyst. On crystal blanks five etchings were being placed, plain, gold encrusted or plain with a gold edge, these etchings being: Blossom Time, Chantilly, Elaine, Rosepoint and Wildflower.

By 1949 the #119 jug had been discontinued, another victim of changing tastes on the part of the buying public.

The #3450 or Nautilus 84 oz. ice lipped jug was introduced in 1934 and discontinued prior to 1949. It was shown on the first page of the 1934 Cambridge catalog supplement and was then, as well as in January 1940, being produced in the colors of: crystal, amber, forest green, royal blue, amethyst and carmen. Like the #3400/114 Aero Optic jug, the optical pattern on this just precludes its general use as a blank for etchings. However, decorations on the Nautilus jug cannot be completely ruled out.

To be continued next month.

Cambridge jugs