By Liz Harper

The National Museum of Cambridge Glass in downtown Cambridge is full of display cases of intricate glassware. From 1902 through 1958, the Cambridge Glass Company factory produced dozens of styles of glass pieces. Among the pieces were lamps, punch bowls, dinner sets and even children’s toys. 

The products are organized by color and style. Crystal clear pieces are common, as are bright, opaque colors. Pieces are carved or etched with floral designs. The more complex pieces 

In the last century, Cambridge Glass pieces have made their way across the country, into the homes of Hollywood celebrities and onto the sets of popular movies and TV shows, such as Bonanza. 

But in the factory’s heyday, the pieces weren’t only for the wealthy. During the time Cambridge Glass was most successful, glassware was an important tool for social interaction for people across social classes. 

“They were into entertaining,” says museum director Cindy Arent. “Everything [was bought] to use in your home, to entertain for family and friends, all [in] the different styles.”

Arent, a volunteer, is part of a group of dedicated and passionate collectors who make it their mission to share the history of the Cambridge Glass Company. Open April through October, the museum offers a tours that include interactive activities to allow visitors to examine some of the more than 10,000 pieces of glass in its collection. 

Other museum info: 

Phone #: 740-432-4245 

Museum hours: April through October, Wed.–Sat. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun: 12 p.m.-4 p.m. 

Cambridge Glass Website