Ruben Haley, Part II

by Bud Walker
Issue No. 254 - June 1994

In my last article on Ruben Haley, I alluded to the fact that Ruben Haley's and A. J. Bennett's paths would cross again. On October 16, 1915, the Cambridge Glass Company received a letter from Marion G. Bryce, president of the United States Glass Company. The purpose of this letter was to inform the Cambridge Glass Company that U. S. Glass was making pressed blanks on which cutting was to become part of the overall pattern. Duncan Miller and United States Glass Company had jointly applied for a patent on this process. If granted, the process would be protected to the best of their ability. The blanks in question were those that were pressed and fire polished leaving blank sections that would be cut and incorporated into the overall design.

On October 18, 1915, A. J. Bennett acknowledged receiving the letter. He claimed that Cambridge and three or four other glass companies had been using this method for several years. A. J. had his patent attorney look into the matter. In the opinion of the patent attorney, this method was not patentable. In his reply, Mr. Bennett said that they had made a complete set of table ware using this method for several years. He requested U. S. Glass to provide him with their application number.

In a follow-up reply, Mr. Bryce, of United States Glass, stated that Mr. Haley had advised him that the Cambridge patterns were quite different from what they were attempting to patent. He also stated he would provide Mr. Bennett with the number when the patent was granted.

Without the application number Cambridge Glass and the other concerned glass companies could do nothing but wait and see if this process was eligible for a patent. Much to their surprise on April 4, 1916, United States Glass published a notice to the trade. Together with the Duncan Miller Company, they had been granted four patents on the process of fire polishing a pressed piece prior to the design being cut on the piece. The notice went on to say that violators of these patents would be prosecuted if they did not secure a license to use said process from the United States Glass Company.

In a letter dated April 5, 1916, the Cambridge Glass Company was notified that their pattern number 3000 design, was an infringement. They would have to stop making this pattern or make arrangements to become a licensee.

On June 2, 1916, the Cambridge Glass Company agreed to become a licensee. They questioned the method of charging for the right to use Ruben Haley's patented method. The letter said that Marion G. Bryce would meet with Mr. Bennett at a forthcoming glass show and the two men would resolve their differences.

Cut Wild Rose The 3000 line was Cambridge's Cut Wild Rose. When we look at this pattern, the pieces from the early years have the rose and buttons wheel cut on the piece. Later pieces of Cut Wild Rose are totally pressed and fire polished, with no wheel cutting at all.

Though the records are missing, I think that Mr. Bennett was not satisfied with having to pay U. S. Glass a royalty on each piece of Cut Wild Rose that was produced. It would appear that he had the moulds reworked so that the pattern was totally pressed, and would not infringe on the patents held by Ruben Haley and U. S. Glass.

In concluding this article, I would like to express my appreciation to Willard Kolb, who, for years, has collected and saved much of the paper history and records of the Ohio Valley glass companies. Most collectors have no idea of the time and effort required to collect, catalog, record and preserve all these old records that enable us to look back in time and learn more about the companies whose glass we collect. Without access to Willard Kolb's archives, this article on Ruben Haley, and the Cut Wild Rose line could never have been written. Thanks Willard!