Cambridge Glass Co. at 25 Years

by Mark Nye
Issue 303 - July 1998

Since NCC Inc., is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, I thought I would devote a couple of articles to a review of what the Cambridge Glass Co. was doing in 1927, the year it celebrated 25 years of producing glass. Much of the material comes from trade journals and I realize a great deal of it has been published before. However, new members may not have all the past issues and "refresher courses" have never hurt anyone. Where needed, I have added clarifying information, especially when items, colors, and decorations are not clearly identitied in the original material.

"New Colors - Cambridge - New Shapes. New colors, new shapes, new decorations and new color combinations - these, in great array, are in the 1927 offerings of the Cambridge Glass Co. of Cambridge, Ohio. There is "Golden Showers" a new golden color in glass, a true golden color. (This color has never been positively identified. It may have been a very short-lived early version of Gold Krystol. There is no further mention of a "yellow" during 1927.) There are the new heavy silver decorations on colored glass, exquisite in their workmanship. The complete dinner service in glass with the striking covered dishes and the stemware combination of pink bowls with light green foot and stem stand out also." -- CGL January 1927

"Glass dinnerware or complete table services in glass has been growing in popularity, but the Cambridge Glass Co. were surprised at the very marked attention given their dinnerware during the recent Pittsburgh Exhibit. Part of this attention, no doubt was due to the attractive design of the cover dishes.

"In adding a full line of dinnerware items to their offerings in high grade glassware, both plain and decorated, the Cambridge Glass Co. decided that unless the larger hollow pieces and the covered dishes were distinctive and attractive, it were better not to place the line before the buyers." -- CGL February 1927

(The line described in the preceding and in following quotes was captioned in the 1927 Cambridge catalog as "Cambridge Open Stock Table Service." It later became known as the Round line. It, like many of the other lines and items described in this series of trade journal quotes, can be found in the Smith reprint of the 1927-29 Cambridge catalog.)

"Book ends of solidity and neatness are those made by the Cambridge Glass Co., of Cambridge, 0., as new additions to their line of quality glassware for home, table and decorative uses. The bookends, as can be seen from the illustration, are of plain design and are solid glass. They can be had in the Cambridge colors or Amber-glo, Peach-Blo and emerald. The decoration shown is a basket of roses in gold and edge lines in gold. Whether plain or decorated, these bookends are serviceable, practicable, and attractive." -- CGL March 1927

(The bookends described in the preceding are those commonly referred to today as "tombstone bookends." The decoration cannot be clearly identified from the available illustration. It resembles the basket of flowers seen in Dresden and Bordeaux etchings.)

"In the way of novelties for the department store or the gift shop, what about this well thought-out desk set illustrated herewith. It is in colored glass and comes from the Cambridge Glass Co. The set consists or four pieces and is entirely of glass. There is a corrugated rest for pens and pencils, an ink bottle with stopper, a receptacle for pins and clips and a holder for paper and letters. This new desk set is made in colored glass and can he had either plain or in a variety of gold and etched decorations. The set can be had in Amber-Glo, one of the leading Cambridge colors in glass, Peach-Blo, an outstanding pink glass and also in Emerald, an attractive green. As a gift favor out of the ordinary in glass. this desk set ought to please any woman." -- CGL April 1927

"... The Cambridge Glass Co., of 184 Fifth Avenue, report that they are doing very well with glass dinner sets. Certainly their lines show a wide choice in styles and prices. One of the tables (seen in their display room) is set with amber glass with a wide gold encrustation. Matching dinner set, stemware, center bowl and candlesticks in a formal arrangement are complemented with appropriate flowers. Especially when used with a lace cloth or lace doilies, the effect is very soothing to eyes long accustomed to combinations of several decorations on the dining table.

"The wide encrustation is placed on amber, green and peach dinnerware, of which sets may be combined from 100 pieces up or down. The glass covered dishes have a value to the housewife that is sometimes overlooked in that it is not necessary to uncover a dish to see whether it is necessary to send to the kitchen for a further supply of food. The Cambridge dinnerware includes a round 10-inch covered dish and oval ones measuring 8-3/4 inches and 12-1/2 inches. By omitting the little groove that holds the covers these same moulds make satisfactory open dishes.

"The Cambridge line contains five different gold decorated dinnerware patterns, the wide gold encrustation mentioned above, two narrow gold encrusted bands, a Dresden flower encrustation and plain gold bands, one of them used with an etched design. There are also some etched designs without gold and the plain glass dinnerware depending upon its color and shape for its charm.

"Luncheon sets are made by etching the famous Blue Willow pattern on crystal and filling in the etched design with blue, green and pink. Matching this willow design are stermware, candlesticks, bowls, cheese and cracker sets, mayonnaise sets and handled sandwich trays." -- CGL May 1927

"The Cambridge Glass Co. is unusually well equipped to supply the type of bowls, flower blocks and vases that have come to such necessary adjuncts to borne decorations, especially in the summer time when garden flowers are plentiful. But these same items are not only good summer merchandise, for the increasing use of artificial flowers makes them necessary all year round. The glass figures mounted on rather massive lower blocks have probably been the most talked of Cambridge items this year. I can speak of that from experience for more telephone calls and letters have come into this office asking where the glass flower holders can be bought than have mentioned any other single item. These figures mounted flower blocks are in severaL sizes, some of them quite tall. There are two geisha girl figures, an eagle, and a large and small figure of a draped girl. They may be had polished or satin finished and in the regular Cambridge colors or crystal. When I visited the Cambridge show rooms today, I saw three new paneled flower bowls that have just been unpacked. There are also two new table aquariums of unusual footed shape. All of these are made in amber, green and peach." -- CGL May 1927

"The 29th anniversary of the Cambridge Glass Co., Cambridge, Ohio, was celebrated recently and all the road representatives were called in to help celebrate the occasion. When the bunch gathered at the factory there was plenty doing, you bet. Those boys are live wires and it is a foregone conclusion that time did not hang heavily on their hands duiring their sojourn in the beautiful little Ohio city." -- CGL May1927