Replacements, Ltd. - Cambridge Glass History

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The Cambridge Glass Company originated in 1873 when a group of businessmen from the town of Cambridge, OH decided to charter a new glass producing factory. The founding businessmen sold their plans for the Cambridge factory to the National Glass Co. of Pennsylvania. The factory was built and opened it doors in 1902.

Most of the company’s early designs were heavy pressed patterns. Arthur J. Bennett, an English native, was hired to manage the Cambridge factory. Most of the patterns produced between 1901 and 1906 were designed by Bennett. In addition to designing many of the company’s early patterns, Bennett also designed the company’s first backstamp, which read “Near Cut.” In 1907, Bennett liquidated his lifetime savings and purchased the Cambridge factory for $500,000.

Cambridge Glass grew into a huge enterprise. By 1910, the company began mining for its own coal. Each Cambridge furnace was fueled by coal and consumed more than 50 tons of coal per day. In addition to its coal burning furnaces, Cambridge used natural gas, which it produced from its own wells. Also in 1910, the company purchased the Byesville Glass and Lamp Co. Cambridge Glass released its Marjorie and Betty patterns during this period. Both patterns were named after Arthur Bennett’s family members.

In 1916, the Cambridge Glass Co.’s sales reached a plateau and it was decided that the Byesville operation should be closed. By 1917, all of the Byesville operations were moved to the Cambridge, OH location. Arthur Bennett decided that the company should work to achieve more carefully measured growth. By avoiding rapid expansion, Cambridge was able to successfully weather the Great Depression. Throughout the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s, Cambridge achieved considerable growth. It is during this time that the company released it most successful shapes, colors, and etchings. In 1931, the company debuted its successful “Rosepoint” etching, as well as the popular “Nude Stems” collection. Many of the company’s most famous colors were developed during this period, including “Carmen,” “Crown Tuscan,” “Royal Blue,” and “Heatherbloom.”

Soon after the close of the Second World War, the company began rapidly loosing sales. Finely made crystal was no longer in demand because more Americans were using cheaply made imported crystal. In 1954, Cambridge Glass made the decision to close its doors. The company was sold to Sidney Albert of Akron, OH in 1955. Because sales remained poor, Albert sold the company after one year. In 1956, Cambridge Glass was sold to Morrison Industries of Boston, MA. In 1958, the company closed its doors for a final time. Imperial Glass bought all of Cambridge’s molds and equipment.

Over the next few decades, the American market continued to be flooded with machine made imports. In 1984, Imperial Glass was forced into bankruptcy. Cambridge’s molds were purchased by the National Cambridge Collectors Association and were stored at the Cambridge Museum in Ohio. In 1989, the original Cambridge factory met its demise. The city of Cambridge condemned the Cambridge Glass factory and razed all its buildings. Cambridge Glass continues to be highly collectible. Replacements carries an array of these beautiful patterns, including Rose Point , Caprice, Chantilly, Wildflower, and Diane . Be sure to browse our extensive list of patterns made by the Cambridge Glass Co.