Cambridge and the Holiday Season

by Mark A. Nye
Issue No. 236 - December 1992

It was not unusual for Cambridge to bring out something new in the fall of the year and promote it for the upcoming Holiday Season, This something could be a new color, a new line, addition or additions to an existing line, etc. Some years it was an existing line or item, rather than a new one, that was chosen for the fall promotions. In this article we take a look at some of the ware Cambridge promoted for Holiday Seasons during the l930s.

Actually, we begin in 1929. That year the September issue of China, Glass and Lamps had this to say:

"Among the new lines which the Cambridge Glass Co., of Cambridge, Ohio, is offering in blown and pressed glassware for the coming Holiday trade, the newest in stemware is called "Gold Krystal" [Krystol] in combination of the bowl in the new transparent color - gold and crystal foot and stem.

"The new color is attractive in optic or in plain shape with or without decoration, It is quite effective in the "Aero" optic which has been a feature in Cambridge glassware this year. An. attractive number in "Gold Krystal" (Krystol] with etching is the No, 3120 shape, which has a beautiful stem. Various etched designs are available, including the new No. 733."

A full page Cambridge advertisement in the same issue featured, along with No. 3120 stemware, the No. 1240/638 console set and the No. 880/881 bridge set. The latter was shown with the Golf Scene etching. The advertisement was captioned: "GLASSWARE SPECIALTIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Hundreds in the Cambridge Line."

The following month a Cambridge advertisement, also in China Glass and Lamps, was captioned: "EBONY AND CRYSTAL IS SMART." Quoting from the text:

"Illustrated are the No, 3140 sherbet with Crystal bowl and Ebony foot and stem; the No. 3140 footed Tumbler with Crystal bowl and Ebony foot and stem, and the No. 1176 salad plate in Ebony ..."

The fall of 1930 saw the etchings Apple Blossom and Gloria being heavily promoted although there was no specific mention of the Holiday Season.

"CAMBRIDGE ANNOUNCES - THE NO. 3011 FIGURE STEM LINE - it's a sure hit! Just the line for a Holiday leader." So read the caption of the October 1931 advertisement that introduced the Cambridge Nudes.

"SNAPPY WARE TO PEP SALES! The No. 3400 Ball Shape Line offers most unique items for gifts at every season. New pieces are being added regularly to the line. They sell on sight ... Etchings shown include the new Diane, the Gloria and the Lorna ..." The preceding was taken from the November 1931 issue of China Glass and Lamps.

The 3400/113 handled decanter together with 1341 cordials were shown in an October 1932 Cambridge advertisement that had this copy:

"At the right is a new handled decanter set from the Cambridge Glass Co. It is one of their new smart Fall items and is shown in amber, forest green, carmine [sic], amethyst, royal blue as well as crystal. In addition to these plain colors, it is also to be had in etchings."

The Fall of 1933 saw the Everglade line being promoted with this text appearing in China Glass and Lamps:

"One of the new lines to he brought out this Fall by the Cambridge Glass Co. is their Everglades. The few pieces of this which we illustrate will give an idea of its attractiveness ..."

The following year, in the October issue of China Glass and Lamps, Cambridge had a full page advertisement, the text of which began with:

"DISTINCTIVE WARES FOR PROFIT BY CAMBRIDGE. For the Holiday Gift Season, the CAMBRIDGE line includes hundreds of attractive items. Make your selections early. Write us today about the wares shown and other outstanding designs in hand-made quality table and decorative glassware."

Featured in the advertisement were the Nautilus decanter and wine glass, the narcissus bulb vase, and a floating rose bowl. The text found under the bulb vase illustration read:

"The Narcissus Bulb Vase, above, sells readily and profitably because it is attractive. Designed to hold four bulbs, it is useful for other bulbs, such as Hyacinth and Lily-of-the-Valley, as well as Narcissus. Done in the wide selection of masterful CAMBRIDGE colors."

October 1937 saw Cambridge informing retail merchants, by means of a China Glass and Lamps advertisement, that Cambridge epergnes were to be featured in November consumer magazines. The CGL ad featured the consumer ad along with the following text:

"NATIONAL ADVERTISING ... adding to Cambridge Prestige and Sales, in the national spotlight for November, Cambridge features exclusive and ever popular Epergnes. This advertising - timed with the upswing of the year's entertainment season, and featuring practical Epergnes - will build profitable volume for any dealer who ties in with this merchandising program. Take advantage of the revived market, exclusive Cambridge design, Cambridge quality and Cambridge national advertising - all working together to build a still greater demand for glassware which bears the famous Cambridge Trademark. Profit by this combination of sales advantages. Feature Cambridge."

The text of the consumer oriented ad read:

"SMART IS THE HOSTESS ... who styles her table setting around an Epergne by Cambridge. These versatile centerpieces accent the natural charm of just a few fresh flowers and create living beauty with candles and the clear-cut richness of flawless Cambridge Crystal.

"For your own use or as gifts for others, Cambridge offers a complete selection of Etched and Cut Rock Crystal at surprisingly moderate prices. Each piece is hand-made ... with exclusiveness assured by patent protection. Ask for Cambridge Crystal at better stores."

Cambridge's November 1937 CGL advertisement again featured a copy of consumer advertising, this time featuring Pristine Table Architecture and the Statuesque line. The CGL ad read:

"TABLE ARCHITECTURE AND STATUESQUE IDEAL FOR GIFT PROMOTION. Cambridge is turning the power of its national advertising campaign on the tremendous seasonal gift market ... telling 1,000,000 leading families that glassware makes an ideal gift - especially Cambridge Hand-Made Crystal. Appealing to the entire market with Statuesque and Table Architecture. Cambridge creates for your profit and volume a tremendous demand you cannot afford to overlook. Plan now to display and feature Cambridge, Take advantage of Cambridge prestige and salability to promote a greater holiday business in your entire glassware department."

The next year it was gold encrusted ware Cambridge chose to promote. December national magazines, magazines that reached readers in early November, carried an advertisement whose copy read in part:

"Because it achieves special distinction without extravagance, Cambridge Gold Encrusted Crystal is an ideal gift choice. The Cambridge process (developed in America) actually fuses pure gold deep into the crystal at great heat, creating a decoration of satin richness, as permanent as it is beautiful and surprisingly moderate in cost."

A copy of this advertisement, whose illustrations consisted of Pristine blanks with gold encrusted Laurel, was used in an October l938 CGL advertisement. The additional text read:

"Right in tune with the increasing demand for gold encrusted glassware is this Cambridge advertisement bearing its gift-time message to nearly four-and-a-half million homes. Timed just right in December national magazines, reaching our customers in early November well in advance of the big gift buying season. Features a profitable all year item, the perfect answer, not for Christmas, but for golden anniversaries and other gift occasions!"

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays.