Cambridge History from News Articles

by Charles Upton
Issue No. 233 - September 1992

[Editors Note: We are pleased to continue this series of historical articles concerning the Cambridge Glass Company. This series is the direct result of many months of research on the part of Charles Upton, Cambridge Ohio. Charles is not only a knowledgeable Cambridge glass collector, he is also co-founder and first President of National Cambridge Collectors Inc.

This series started in February 1986, and continued fairly regularly through July 1989. The series consists primarily of articles taken directly from the Cambridge, Ohio newspaper The Daily Jeffersonian (reprinted here with their permission). We hope to continue this series on an irregular basis as space and Charlie's research permits.

We begin with an article dated November 11, 1960, which is out of chronological order, but we feel sets the scene for Willard Kolb's talk at the November quarterly meeting.]

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
November 11, 1960.

The Board of directors of the Imperial Glass Corp., of Bellaire, Friday announced that an agreement has been reached for the purchase of the manufacturing assets of the 59-year-old Cambridge Glass Co.

The purchase agreement includes all molds, etching plates, mold tools, the Cambridge name, patents, trade marks and all production assets of the Cambridge Company necessary for the manufacture of the complete line of Cambridge Glass products.

Removal of all these properties into Imperial's Bellaire factory will be accomplished as soon as possible; Carl Gustkey, President and General Manager of Imperial, said this acquisition follows an established Imperial pattern created by the a acquisition of Central Glass of Wheeling in 1940 and the subsequent purchase of the A. H. Heisey Glass Company of Newark in 1955, both companies having been established prior to 1900.

The physical move into the Bellaire plant will be under the direction of J. Thomas Ball, Vice President and Plant Manager at Imperial. By this purchase of the Cambridge properties, Imperial is attempting to increase annual gross sales, create more and steadier work for their factory employment and to further strengthen themselves in their selling battle against imported glassware and domestically-made automatic products.

Questioned as to when Cambridge ware will be first made at Imperial and in what manner it will be marketed, Gustkey said, "!First things must come first - the physical move of Cambridge Glass to Bellaire is a big task, which will take many weeks and must be accomplished long before even their two most currently valuable lines, Cambridge Square and Cambridge Arms, can be produced by us.

Imperial is a 57-year-old manufacturer of handmade pressed and blown crystal and colored glass and a producer of fiber glass roofing mat and pipewrap, presently employing 450 people in their Bellaire plant. Twenty-six salesmen sell their products to over 8,000 retailers in the 50 states and Canada. The company is one of the largest makers of handmade glassware in the world.

The Cambridge Glass Co. plant has been idle since December of 1958 at which time about 250 were employed here. Earlier that year the company went into bankruptcy. However, Morrison Industries, of Boston, Mass., which owned about 90 per cent of the stock, advanced enough money to enable the company to emerge from bankruptcy and operate for a period.

At a meeting of stockholders Thursday, directors were elected and empowered with the authority to dispose of the assets and liquidate the company in what "they deemed to be in the best interest of the stockholders."

Ernest Friedlander, president of Morrison Industries and Cambridge Glass, explained Friday that Morrison Industries still owns the real estate and that plans are to bring another firm into the plant or sell it to someone wishing to make use of it. The plant has a floor space of approximately 300,000 square feet.

Mr. Friedlander also stated that the company has considerable inventory of glassware on hand which it plans to offer to the townspeople at a public sale to be held before Christmas at the plant. The date or dates for the sale will be announced later.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
Friday, April 1, 1910

Lore City, April 1 - A. W. Johnson, formerly of this place, but now living at Saginaw, Mich., and who is a practical coal driller and mineral tester, sends a sample of white sand resembling granulated sugar which he has discovered for a company near his Michigan home. The strata is located about 40 feet beneath the surface of the ground and is 100 feet in thickness. It will be used to manufacture the very finest quality of cut glass and the deposit is said to be of inestimable value. Mr. Johnson is the first man to succeed in putting a hole through to the bottom of this sand vein.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
Saturday, May 14, 1910

J. J. Kelley has resigned his position as mould maker at the Cambridge Glass Plant effective Saturday, May 14th. When interviewed at his home on East Gaston Avenue, Saturday, he confirmed the report that he had resigned but when asked as to his plans for the future stated that he had decided on nothing definite, and that he intended to take a rest before engaging in anything.

Mr. Kelly has been connected with the Cambridge Glass Plant since the start, and was regarded one of the most expert and valuable employees. Mr. and Mrs. Kelley expect to leave about the first of July and go to Barnesville, Their many friends will sincerely regret to have them leave Cambridge.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
Monday, June 20, 1910.

Following the usual custom, the Cambridge and Byesville glass plants will shut down for two weeks during the month of July. Both will shut down Saturday, July 2nd, and resume operations, Monday morning, July 18th. The shut down of the glass plants all over the country is in accordance with a clause in the union scale, which requires all union plants to give the men a two weeks vacation during the month of July.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
Friday, June 24, 1910

Joseph W. Rogers, age 38, fell while at work in the Glass Plant Friday morning, and sustained severe cuts and wounds to his right arm. He was reaching high above his head to adjust a motor, when he stepped backward, alighting on broken glass.

Mr. Rogers went to Dr. Ramsey's office where his arm was dressed. One jagged wound three inches in length, extending crosswise on the arm, and several smaller ones were also closed. A piece of skin one inch square was torn out and the hand was badly lacerated.

Although the wounds are exceedingly painful they are not considered dangerous.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
January 21, 1937

"Business conditions have improved and we are looking hopefully to the future for further recovery and stabilization of markets", Arthur J. Bennett, President of The Cambridge Glass Company, one of Cambridge's major industries, told members of the Rotary Club at their luncheon meeting Wednesday at the Berwick Hotel.

Mr. Bennett was the speaker for the day and discussed a subject upon which he speaks authoritatively, "Business Conditions." J. P. Bonham was chairman of the meeting and introduced the speaker, a member of the club.

"Times are better and we hope they will continue", Mr. Bennett said, taking an optimistic view of the increased manufacturing and industrial operations throughout the country. "However, it remains to be determined whether the recovery we have made toward re-establishing business in the United States is permanent," he added.

Mr. Bennett, a keen observer of business trends, referred to business generally in the nations recovery program. What it has accomplished in relieving unemployment and restoring markets and what its ambitions are for the future. He said long strides have been made in recovery, hut there remain vital problems to be solved before there is definite assurance the uphill climb will be entirely successful.

Personal views of the situation were expressed and some "breaks ahead" were pointed out as he spoke of the trend of thought of the buyer as reflected on the market. His remarks were exceedingly interesting to the Rotarians.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
January 23, 1937

"With the approach of better times, people are becoming more style conscious," states Wilber Orme, of The Cambridge Glass Co.

There will be two distinct styles of cut glass for the new year. The modern design and the figure display. The color will be delicate pastel shades in pink and blue. This style affords opportunity for blending glass with tapestry and other room decorations.

The Cambridge Glass Co. sells wholesale, between 25 and 30 thousand individual items of glassware throughout 12 districts in the United States, with exports to Australia, Canada and Mexico. The various patterns are cutting, etching, gold decoration and hand painting. Of these patterns, etching proves to be in greater demand, although a greater demand for all styles and patterns of better glass has been experienced in the past six months.

All the work is the result of hand labor and is completed from the clay to the finished product under the same roof. The work is carried on by 700 employees of The Cambridge Glass Co.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
Saturday, February 27, 1954.

A half century of service to The Cambridge Glass Company came to an end Saturday, with the retirement of G. Roy Boyd, Vice President and Treasurer, it was announced by W. L. Orme Sr., President.

The retirement of Mr. Boyd was followed by the promotion of William C. Orme as Treasurer and Wilbur L. Orme Jr. as Vice President in charge of production. They are twin sons of Mr. & Mrs. W. L. Orme Sr.

Mr. Boyd became associated with The Cambridge Glass Company about a year after its formation, by the late Arthur J. Bennett, who headed the company as president, until his death.

Mr. Bennett's son-in-law W. L. Orme Sr. succeeded him as president. It was 50 years ago in January that Mr. Boyd joined the company, which he has served many years as Vice-President and Treasurer.

Accompanied by his wife, he left Saturday to spend several months in Florida. He plans to travel extensively before returning to Cambridge to reside.

William C, and Wilbur L. Orme Jr. have been associated with The Cambridge Glass Company several years. The former, a ceramics graduate of Ohio State University, has been devoting much time to the fundamentals of glass manufacture and the latter has specialized in the production phase of the business.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
March 27, 1954

W. L. Orme, Sr., president of the Cambridge Glass Co., is shown presenting Friday a wrist watch to Orrie J. Mosser, 100 Highland Ave., factory manager, in observance of his long tenure of service to the company. Mr. Mosser completed 50 years service with the company on January 1.

Mr. Mosser, who is 68, started work at the Cambridge plant on New Year's day of 1904 as a skilled tradesman. He began learning the "gathering" trade when but 12 years old in a Marietta glass company.

Employed at the Cambridge Glass as a "gatherer," Mr. Mosser worked his way through several departments, and was subsequently made night foreman. He has been Plant Manager of the hot metal department for the past 36 years.

Official recognition of his long tenure of service was made by company officials Friday, when they presented him with the watch. The glass company, which is one of the oldest manufacturing firms in Cambridge, has similarly honored eight other employees since 1951 in recognition of half a century of Service.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
July 1, 1954

W. L. Orme, President of The Cambridge Glass Company, has been elected Chairman of the governing board of the American Glassware Association. His term will expire December 31, 1955.

In addition to the local manufacturer, the board is comprised of E. A. Donnan, President of The Federal Glass Company in Columbus, J. Fletcher Gillender, President of Gillender Brothers Inc. of Port Jervis, N.Y., J. Nelson McNash, manager of the Tableware Division, Hazel Atlas Glass Co., Wheeling, West Virginia, John C. Webber Jr., general sales manager of the West Virginia Glass Specialty Company, Weston, West Virginia and A. S. Taylor, alternate, manager of the Lighting Sales Department, Corning Glasswares, Corning, New York.

In addition, W. C. McCartney, secretary-treasurer of The Cambridge Glass Company, was named to the membership committee of the association and A. B. Orme, Vice-President of Cambridge Glass Company was elected to the import committee.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
August 2, 1954

G. Roy Boyd, 83, former executive of The Cambridge Glass Company, where he retired last February 27 as Vice-President and Treasurer, died at 11:10PM Sunday at the summer home of his son-in-law and daughter, Dr. and Mrs. Eli Bernstein at Fenton Lake, Fenton, Michigan.

Following his retirement he and his wife went to Florida where he became ill. Later they went to Michigan and for the past several weeks his condition has been serious.

Mr. Boyd was a prominent resident of Cambridge many years, having been associated with the glass company here for 50 years. Upon his retirement he had expected to do some traveling and return to Cambridge to live. He would have been 84 in October.

A native of Wheeling, West Virginia, Mr. Boyd was employed by the Imperial Glass Company of Bellaire before coming to Cambridge. He became associated with The Cambridge Glass Company about a year after its formation by the late Arthur J. Bennett who headed the company as president until his death.

Besides his widow, Mr. Boyd leaves three daughters, Mrs. Marjorie Bernstein of Flint, Michigan, Mrs Jane Wiley, Marion, and Mrs. Georgianna Franken, San Antonio, Texas.

The Daily Jeffersonian, Cambridge, Ohio
September 3, 1954

Holdings of Company are very broad

It was announced Friday that Sidney L. Albert, nationally known Akron Industrialist, has acquired 100% of the stock of the 50 year old Cambridge Glass Company of Cambridge for an undisclosed sum.

Cambridge Glass is one of the few producers of fine hand made blown glass and crystal. Founded in 1901, the company produced its first piece of glass in May, 1902 and has since then steadily increased its line of stem and flat glassware which are highly prized possessions of many homemakers.

Industry Leader

A leader in its industry group, Cambridge Glass has for many years led a campaign to obtain federal relief against imported wares, which, because of low cost labor, reduced the home market for American made merchandise.

Recent statistics show that 64% of the American market has been saturated with imported glass products. Further price difficulties have been caused in the industry because of the high cost of domestic labor, further aggravated by the fact that members of the hand made glass Industry group are forced to bargain with the union on a industry wide basis, the announcement stated.

Increased Products

Despite the varying difficulties over many years, the company has increased its manufacturing program and now produces a complete line of hand made, blown and pressed glasswares, including stemware, tableware, vases, dinner ware, novelties, specialties, candelabra and epergnes in colors, crystal, etched, gold encrusted and engraved patterns and designs.

Officers of Company

The most recent officers of The Cambridge Glass Company were: Wilbur L. Orme Sr., President, Arthur B. Orme, Vice-President, Wilbur L. Orme Jr., Vice-President in charge of production, William C. Orme II, Treasurer and William C. McCartney, Secretary. New officers will be elected shortly.

Holdings Broad

The acquiring interests are represented by Sidney L. Albert of Akron, President of L. Albert & Son, internationally known suppliers of rubber mill machinery and plastic machinery, maintaining plants and warehouses in Trenton, New Jersey, Akron, Chicago, Los Angles and Brentford, Ontario, Canada.

Albert & Son, now in its 65th year of operation, is the largest of its kind and has significantly contributed to the ever growing importance of the machinery industry in this country, during, as well as, or since the wars.

Controls 26 Plants

The acquisition of The Cambridge Glass Company brings the number of plants, under Alberts control, to 26. Among those are the Akron Gear and Engineering Co. of Akron, Ohio, New Breman Rubber Co., of New Breman, Ohio, Lake City Malleable Inc., of Cleveland, Columbus and Ashtabula, Ohio and Albert Harris Inc., of Akron, Ohio and Lubbock, Texas. Earlier this year Albert bought the 59 year old Browning Crane and Shovel Co. of Cleveland, Ohio, one of the oldest and best reputed manufacturers of rubber mounted and locomotive cranes.

The acquisition of The Cambridge Glass Company is the 26th plant in a diversified industrial family under Alberts control, again reflects his policy of acquiring corporations producing superior products to make them the leaders in their respective fields.

Speculation, in informed circles, has it that the Albert Organization, is at present, negotiating the purchase of two other well known companies. A spokesman for Albert refused to deny or confirm the rumor but indicated that announcements would be forthcoming shortly.