December Ads - Cambridge Glass Co.

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 212 - December 1990

The December 1949 issue of China, Glass and Lamps contained this brief article dealing with Cambridge.

"A line of tableware pieces including bowls, chop plates, console sets, sugars and creamers, and double mayonnaise bowls in the beautiful 'Harvest' cutting has been brought out by Cambridge Glass Company to match the stemware line in this pattern. Stalks of wheat, gray, in a polished cutting, this distinctive design was introduced a couple of years ago in stemware only. The popular 'Crown Tuscan' cocktail glasses with the graceful coral figure holding the mandarin gold bowl are now back again to retail at $1.50 apiece.

Cambridge ad Cambridge also has two new package deals on the Cambridge Arms centerpieces. These versatile centerpieces come in nine-piece and 11-piece sets retailing at $10.95 and $13.95 respectively, already packed in shipping cartons to eliminate need for repacking. A surprising total of 43 different combinations has been worked out with these simple interchangeable pieces, and a book picturing quite a few of the suggested decorative arrangements is available.

Like Topsy, this centerpiece idea 'just grew.' Originally the candelabra was made with a finial instead of a well, until one day someone looked at a stack of them in the factory and began to realize what flexibility of design might be achieved with a group of moveable, interchangeable pieces. At first, too, the vases were made of blown glass, but the breakage on these proved so large that they were soon supplanted by pressed glass."

The following is taken from the December 1950 issue of China, Glass and Lamps.

"Promoting 'Combination' Glassware

A major highlight in current glassware merchandising developed recently with the nation-wide promotion of the 'Cambridge Arms' line, launched through the November issue of the Woman's Home Companion to 4,500,000 readers and tied in with 337 stores in 45 states.

Featured in the Picture Companion section of the magazine was a four page spread entitled 'Sparkling Switchabouts,' illustrating the line of decorative glassware by Cambridge which is derived from a number of basic items such as a bowl, candlesticks, vase arm and others. These may be combined into innumerable arrangements to suit practically every decorative requirement of the table or living room." (Editor's Note: This four page spread was reprinted in C.B. Issue #149 - Sept. '85.)

Major appeal derived from the attractiveness of the ware and low retail prices for each item ranging from $1 to $3.95. Actually sales possibilities are enlarged because of the varied combinations which can be developed to require a bigger purchase. Stores participating in the promotion have to date reported generally excellent results.

The November issue marks the first appearance of tableware in the magazine's Picture Companion section. Normally this department concentrates on such topics as clothing fashions. In addition, the section featuring Cambridge was larger than usual. In other respects the development of the Cambridge project followed a standard policy established by the magazine:

Merchandise featured in the Picture Companion is selected from available lines entirely on an editorial basis. The Cambridge ware was chosen for its qualities of interest, attractiveness, gift character and exclusiveness. These factors, together with the price, were deemed ideal for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.

These same factors, of course, should make 'Cambridge Arms' an equally good choice for personal gift occasions in the future and spring gift occasions such as Easter. The magazine's promotional set up also is flexible and is potentially available on other occasions to stores not included in the particular promotion.

With each promotion, the magazine carries a list of participating stores to which the reader's attention is directed. Each of these has the featured merchandise exclusively in a given retailing area. Stores involved in Companion promotions vary, because the magazine's staff gauges each promotion to determine what stores are best suited to the merchandise involved. Hence, the retail outlets are not always department stores, but often include specialty shops, jewelry stores and others.

In this case, the 337 outlets included Lord & Taylor and Loeser's in New York; Kresge's in Newark; Carson Pirie Scott, Chicago; Miller & Rhoads, Richmond, Va.; and LaSalles', Toledo.

The editorial article itself was developed with the assistance of the Cambridge New York representative, Gene Henn, who aided the magazine's merchandising department head, Miss Minki Hart. After the story was written, the project was turned over to Miss Hart, who, with Mr. Henn, worked directly with stores in the New York area. The majority of the other stores involved was handled by mail."

"At the Carson Pirie Scott, Chicago, this island display features direct tie-in with national publicity through magazine articles describing ware as 'Sparking Switchabouts.' The store, one of 337 linked to the promotion, has obtained good results in emphasizing attractive price, versatility and exclusiveness."

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