Take it with a Grain of Salt

Here’s the thing, I’ve been doing some research for a current WIP that involves salt and pepper shakers. That’s right. I won’t tell you too much right now, except that it’s funny. I thought it would be fun to share some of my findings with you. First a little history:
Before the 1940s when someone figured out how to make salt free-flowing, salt came to the table in a chunk and you had to scrape it onto your food. Pepper, not so much in a chunk but still not in a shaker or a cellar until then. This was when ceramics came into play and for one reason or another manufactures began manufacturing salt and pepper shakers in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. I mean wouldn’t you love to have heard that conversation. “Hey Harley, let’s make a salt shaker shaped like a goose—ha, ha.” Who decided this? And human nature being what it is, folks started to collect them. It is actually a pretty popular hobby all over the world with millions of shakers out there to collect. Think I’m kidding? Did you know there is a Salt and Pepper Shaker museum in Gatlinburg, TN. That’s right. A whole museum with a website and everything. The owner says she has over 20,000 shakers and boasts that she owns the world’s smallest and the world’s largest salt shaker. Clubs have even sprung up across the country where collectors can do whatever it is salt and pepper shaker enthusiasts do. “Oh, look at that one, Norma, it’s shaped like a unicorn, the salt flaws from its horn like fairy dust.” Or, “I’ll trade you my Popeye shakers for your Pumpkins.” I’m told you need to be on the look-out for hidden repairs. Apparently, even the salt and pepper collecting world is not without its charlatans. I for one am glad we have shakers. It’s so much easier to control the condiments and who isn’t thankful for well-controlled condiments. Did you know that almost 50 million tons of salt are produced each year in the United States. That’s a lot of salt. But anyhoo, here’s some pictures you might enjoy. But please, just take it all with a grain of salt.

The cat's meow. Quite a catlection in the catelog on the cat category.

Elvis is in the house. Thank you very much.

These are called Longboys. As long as you're shaking, why not. Kind of cute actually.

And of course, what collection would be complete without salt and pepper earrings with salt and pepper inside. Now that's just aching for a MAcGyver episode. "With just the right amount of seasoning we can melt through these bars and escape." "Oh, MacGyver, I'm so glad I wore my salt and pepper earrings."


Caroline said...

Cute! I have one friend who collects them, but nothing on the grand scale. Quirky and fun item to include in your book.

Caroline said...

Just tho't of something: May I post on my blog Barbara Scott's writing class in Oct? Let me know, will you?



MaryBeth said...

Joyce, Thank you for your Agnes Sparrow book. I loved the humor! I also related because my mom was much like Agnes, and I, like Grizzy. Only no sign or statue. She did get very large, but shy of Agnes weight by about 50 lbs. or so, and she prayed, prayed, prayed, but didn't go anywhere.

And an aside-you don't look old enough to be a grandma!

Pam Halter said...

Salt and pepper earrings!! A must have for you-know-who. hahahaha!!