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Vol. 3 Issue 10

Porcelain Salt Dish

Salt cellars, or open salts, were used before salt was refined, processed, and free-flowing. During the 1800's, it was served in a master salt by the host and passed around to the dinner guests.
Each place setting had its own smaller salt. A small silver spoon was used to sprinkle the salt onto one's food.

In 1858, the screw-top salt shaker was invented by John Mason. Some of the earlier salt shakers were salt mills, similar to the pepper mills we use today. There was a piece that would break the salt
up into smaller pieces. Then, in 1871, when salt became more refined, ceramic shakers were produced with perforated tops. The first patent applied for a salt shaker was issued September 15, 1863
to C.P. Crossman. It was for an agitator which would break up the salt since it always formed lumps and would clog up the holes in the top.

The salt shakers now come in various shapes, sizes and material. One of the most common item in the souvenir shops from the twenties to the sixties was the salt and pepper shakers. Many were
made in Japan, but several American companies made them, as well.

The figural shakers have become quite collectible.They can be found in every imaginable shape and material; fruit, vegetables, cartoon characters, animals, birds, household items, etc. There are also
some that are a combination of the salt on one end and the pepper on the other. The miniature shakers are the hardest to find and values are rising. They were made by a company in California named
"Arcadia Ceramics". They measured about 1-1/2" tall and were so small that a cork could not be used to close the hole for the salt. There were instructions to close the hole with tape.

There was also advertising shakers and premium shakers. They were made by F & F Mold & Die Works of Dayton, Ohio. Their shakers were plastic with painted details for companies represented.
Some were Quaker Oats, Kools Cigarettes, and Ken-L-Ration Pet Food. The figurals that F & F produced were Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose, Willie and Millie Penguin, and Fido and Fifi. There are
also the Black Couples, which are valued from $50.00-$65.00. The Luzianne Mammy shakers are worth about $175.00(green skirted version). The Campbell Soup Kids shakers are valued about $50.00.


Garage Sale & Flea Market Annual - Third Edition
Kovel's Antiques & Collectibles Price List - 1991
Schroeder's Antiques Price Guide - Eighteenth Edition, 2000
Kim's Salt and Pepper Shaker Page

Next month's newsletter will feature "Rookwood Pottery".


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