New in Cambridge Showrooms - Part I

by Mark Nye
Issue No. 161 - September 1986

My talk at the convention in June covered this same subject with an emphasis on etchings and, out of necessity, the items chosen for inclusion, for the most part, were rather brief. The following two selections, taken from trade journals dating to the spring and summer of 1925, not only describe what was then new from the Cambridge factory, but also to a lesser degree cover the increasing popularity of glass dinnerware and other items for the home.

I think we tend to forget that glass dinnerware was not always the vogue and probably has never really achieved the same position held by china. Beginning in the mid 1920s, however, glass dinnerware did rise to new heights in popularity and Cambridge Glass Co. was innovative in adapting to this new demand for dinnerware in not only clear glass (crystal), but also in color, plain and decorated. What they were doing in 1925 to meet the buying public's wishes is clearly described below.

This first article is taken from a column printed in the August 3, 1925 issue of China, Glass and Lamps, entitled "New York Trade Notes" written by Jane Littell.

"An unusual number of lovely new things have arrived at the showrooms of the Cambridge Glass Co., at 184 Fifth Avenue, since my last visit. The most important is a new color in glass known as Peach-Blo. It is made up in stemware and in footed and straight sided tumblers, in wide optic, and may be had either undecorated, or with an encrusted band and line treatment.

The color is absolutely unique in modern glass. It has the warmth and sparkle of amber, and the gayety of the DuBarry rose, and is different from these, while combining the charms of both. The name -- Peach-Blo -- describes it perfectly.

Mr. Graham tells me that he will soon have samples of ice tea sets, water sets, vanity sets, salad sets, etc., in this lovely new color. Of course, launching a new color is a serious matter, but I don't see how this concern can avoid making their full line of fancy ware in the new Peach-Blo.

The stemware is made on their 305 (NOTE: this 305 number is undoubtedly a misprint as we can find no record of a #305 stem line -- #3051; 3065; 3075; 3085, etc., yes, but not 305.) shape, which is tall, slender and slightly cupped, and they have the same shape in amber, amethyst, green and crystal, as well as the new Peach-Blo.

The other two new lines are of equal importance. One is a full table service, with the exception of vegetable dishes, of undecorated colored glass. A table is set with this line in amber, and it rates a lot of adjectives. There are service plates, salad plates, bread and butter plates, dessert plates, soup plates, grape fruits, sugars and creams, cold meat platters, cups and saucers and stemware -- all matching. Shown against a background of white, the effect is charming. For hot weather use, for tea, for luncheon, this service of glass is a novelty that ought to appeal rather widely to women who like to have unusual services for special occasions. it will never, of course, displace the elaborate china for formal occasions, nor is it intended to, but it has its use and charm all its own.

The third new line consists of deep plate etchings on stemware, plates and fancy ware, which may be had with a gold hairline and drop, or with no decoration but the etching. There are two patterns shown, one an inch and a quarter band in lacy scroll work, with an etched medallion in the center of each piece, and the other also a lacy pendant pattern, wider than the band and with more contrast between the etched and the plain sections of the pattern. The effect of an etching on colored glass -- it is made in amber and green -- is unusually airy and dainty."

Our second and last selection is an article headlined "New Designs in Glassware Shown by Cambridge Glass Co." taken from Crockery and Glass Journal and first published May 14, 1925.

"The modern vogue for table glass ware has become so firmly established that manufacturers of this commodity, in order to meet the never-ceasing demand for "something new" are constantly working out some novel adaptation of glassware for table use. In fact it is now possible to equip the table almost completely in glassware.

The Cambridge Glass Co., Cambridge, 0. have done some splendid work in creating and adapting glassware for practically every table use, as well as for boudoir and other special purposes. Shown at the New York office of this concern at 184 Fifth Avenue are many new and interesting samples.

One of their newest items is a cocktail set, in crystal, amber glow, or green, consisting of six footed, fluted glasses with footed shaker with sterling silver top. A new console set introduces a pair of dolphin candlesticks combined with a tall rose jar in plain or twisted optic, in four colors, green, amber glow, blue or mulberry, the jar having black cover and stand. They are gracefully modeled and combine charmingly to make an interesting piece of decoration.

A thirty-three piece luncheon set will make a wonderful summer number, coming as it does, in amber glow, green or mulberry, all colors especially suited for porch and cottage use. The set consists of cups and saucers in two styles, sugar and cream, baked apple dishes, salad and bread and butter plates and a large plate for sandwich or bread.

For purely decorative purposes there are flower baskets and tall and slender vases, footed, in three sizes, and in green, mulberry and amber glow, some with encrusted gold decorations, new round and oval shapes in mayonnaise sets in amber glow and gold, some with gold encrustations in heavy band with rich design broken by open work medallions. Sugars and creamers on a tray come with the same decorations as do, service plates, salad and bread and butter plates.

The "Classic" design appearing in gold on some of the slender vases, has an open work panel running down the length of the vase and alternating with short festoon motif.

For the dressing table there comes a charming set consisting of two graceful perfume bottles with drip stoppers and a large powder box. These come in four decorations and three colors, blue, green and amber glow. One in a satin finish, solid color has an etched design. The others are decorated in gold in delicately traced designs, a butterfly and rose motif, one a Grecian urn and another a spreading floral spray.

Another new feature being introduced by the Cambridge Company is an eighteen piece household assortment consisting of six goblets, six tall sherbets and six iced tea glasses packed in a shipping carton. These may be had in the favorite colors, green, mulberry and amber glow.

The last shade, by the way, is a new amber tint of a rich deep hue, and is a color of wonderful warmth and of strong appeal in the many numbers in which it is featured."