The Controversial Near Cut Water Set - Part II

by Joseph A. A. Bourque
Issue 306 - October 1998

Dear Reader,

Reference is made to Part I of this article in the 1998 June issue. There were seven articles that dealt with these points of controversy within a two-and-a-half-year period, starting in June 1973. These articles are copied verbatim in Part I.

Inverted Strawberry Water Set The subject matter deals with the Pink Slag water pitcher set signed Near Cut in the strawberry pattern. It was manufactured by Harold Bennett when he owned and operated the Guernsey Glass Company at or near Cambridge, Ohio. (see photo)


Is this set Cambridge?
Is it a reproduction?
Is it a "reissue"?
Is it "Near Cut"?

This enigma has remained dormant and unsolved for 25 years.

(The following excerpts taken from articles previously appearing in the Crystal Ball are not intended to be used as a critique. They are copied herewith in an effort to save the reader time. (Should the reader elect to read the original articles, the source is listed at the end of each excerpt. ("CB" = Crystal Ball) The salient points within these articles are listed as follows: (Contents of brackets, were inserted by the undersigned.)

I think it is fair to say that 25 years ago, members of National Cambridge Collectors Inc., other collectors of Cambridge glass, and buyers and sellers of Depression Glass became confused over this issue. The questions that are posed above should be resolved.

I have done some research on the "Pink Slag" set and wish to share the data I have obtained with you.

In June 1954, The Cambridge Glass Company closed down, it was purchased outright by L. Albert & Sons Company of Akron, Ohio. At the end of March 1955, fires were resumed in the furnaces of the old Cambridge Glass Company and production began in May 1955 under the new ownership. In 1959, the Cambridge Glass Company closed down.

After The Cambridge Glass Company went out of business, certain glass companies obtained some of the defunct company's molds. One of these companies was the Imperial Glass Company of Bellaire, Ohio, and there were other such glass companies. Certain companies who had Cambridge molds used them to make respective glass items. These items could not readily be distinguished, if at all, from the former nor latter Cambridge Glass Companies, especially if made in clear glass.

The Guernsey Glass Company of Ohio made various items utilizing original Cambridge molds. One of these items was the Pink Slag's water pitcher in the Strawberry pattern signed NEAR CUT.

I had a personal interview with Harold Bennett. an old- time acquaintance, while attending our 1998 NCC Silver Anniversary. We go back a few years. (I first met Harold Bennett in 1971 at his place of business, The Guernsey Glass Company.)

We met at his Cambridge Museum and had a very cordial two-hour discussion about Cambridge glass in general and especially the "Pink Slag" pitcher. He informed me that he had acquired an original Cambridge Thistle [Line No. 2766] water pitcher mold. (see Figure 3) He had it modified to a Strawberry pattern by an expert mold maker. It bore the NEAR CUT trademark. The only discussion about the tumblers was that six pink slag tumblers went with the pitcher and that they also bore the NEAR CUT mark.

Now here is a bit of information that I did not know until my interview with Harold Bennett. He, Harold Bennett, bought out the NEAR CUT trademark and that he still owns it.

At this point, let us go beck to the four questions posed at the beginning of this article. I'm going to answer each question as I see fit to do so, since no one (including myself) has done it in 25 years. Mind you, Dear Readers, this is strictly one person's opinion, namely mine.

If ever you get an opportunity to purchase a "Pink Slag" signed NEAR CUT, don't pass it by. Harold Bennett has an exact duplicate of this pitcher on display in his museum. He asked me if I wanted to sell the set I own as he has a buyer for it. I respectfully declined.

Until next time,