Cambridge and the 1930s - Part III

by Mark A. Nye
Issue 299 - March 1998

The material in this article, as was that in Parts I & II, comes from the pages of China, Glass & Lamps and Crockery & Glass Journal. It first appeared in this format in the 1995 Convention Souvenir Booklet. Part III continues with the overview of Cambridge in the 1930s. Illustrations are provided for some of the topics covered - The interested reader will find additional illustrations in the 1930-1934 and the 1940 Cambridge catalog reprints. Where needed, clarifying words and/or comments have been added end enclosed in parentheses ().

The following appeared in The Pottery, Glass & Brass Salesman June 9, 1933:

3400 Vase "A genuine novelty in vases is the new creation just put on the market by the Cambridge Glass Company and said to be the brain-child of President Arthur J. Bennett of the concern. The vase is absolutely unique in that the aperture is at the side instead of at the top and the effect is naturally striking but at the same time far from unattractive. Incidentally, the vase is not a mere freak created for the purpose of freakishness, but it is designed to show off the flowers it is to hold in an artistically grouped fashion rather than in conventional stiff and formal arrangement. Naturally the vase is primarily for use on a mantel or console table, and its ornamental possibilities are varied. One vase could be placed in the center of the mantel or table, with the opening directly to the front, or two vases could be used, one set on either side and the opening at the side. This later arrangement would naturally permit the showing off of the flowers in a particularly striking and artistic fashion. It is not to be wondered at that the vase has found favor with all who have seen it.

"It might be noted that it is shown in the concern's No. 3400 pattern, which carries a paneled design and which in itself is very attractive. It is obtainable in either crystal or color, plain or etched. Samples are now on display at the various sales agencies of the concern, including the local showrooms at 186 Fifth Avenue (New York City) in charge of D. C. Graham".

(The illustration of this vase which came in three sizes, nine, 11 and 13 inches, is from the 1933 Cambridge catalog supplement. Uncommon today, the vase was probably produced in many of the 1933 Cambridge colors.)

Vichy Stemware May 1934 - Vichy by Cambridge- These blown bowls, on square stems, etched with myriad of bubbles, modern in conception, meet every standard of taste. In every wanted size, shape and the design duplicated in flatware and other pieces. "Vichy" will rise to new heights of popularity, the quality and price most appealing.

November 1935 - "Sea Shell" is a new Cambridge Glass Co. creation. Marine motifs with the shell predominating. Produced in new, translucent coral color and also in carmen, amber, royal blue, forest green, and amethyst. Bowls, plates, fish platter, sea-food cocktails, compotes, centerpieces, relishes, vases and other items in sea-shell design. Candlesticks, candelabra, and epergnes with dolphin-and-shell or sea maiden motifs.

June 1936 - ... a salad set in the Cambridge Glass Co.'s Caprice line. This line consists of 200 different items, and is available in Crystal, Moonlight (light blue), and in a satin finish called Alpine Caprice.

October 1936 - The Cambridge Glass Co. is showing a new line of gold decorated Rose Point glass on Carmen that is available in full stemware and accessory pieces such as bowls, candlesticks, etc. The stemware is featured with a ruby bowl and Rose point decoration with crystal stem and foot. This is the very newest thing that Cambridge has done.

January 1937 - one of The Cambridge Glass Co."s newest etchings, the "Wildflower." It is made in a full line of stemware and flatware, as well as vases. The design may also be had in the same range of items in a gold encrustation.

April 1937 - The bowl and goblet are from the Cambridge Glass Co. and are representative pieces from the hand made Pristine line which is brand new. This line is made in full stemware and a good selection of tableware pieces. The shapes are patented. The Pristine glassware is based on simplicity in design and offers opportunity for beautiful cuttings and etchings.

July 1937 - Also new is "Windsor Blue" a tone of icy blue in opaque glass appearing in small group of decorated items in the Shell Shape.

Virginian Stemware January 1938 - The Cambridge Glass Co., announces a change in the size and make-up of the identification tab they place on their products. The tab is in gold on black.

February 1938 - The "Virginian" is the new pressed line shown by the Cambridge Glass Co. a diamond pattern developed in a line of table items. decorative pieces, and stemware with the design blown in the bowl. It is a reproduction of an early American design and is done in crystal only. Also new - the "Gyro-optic" design, a swirl optic and twisted rope stem done in stemware, beverage sets and flower holders in such shades as moonlight, mocha, pistachio and crystal.

June 1939 - A.J. BENNETT SELLS CAMBRIDGE GLASS CONTROL TO VICE PRESIDENT ORME. Mr Orme ... is the son-in-law of Mr. Bennett and has been connected with the factory for 24 years.