By Carol Detweiler

(This article is based on her 2018 Convention presentation)

My idea in this article is to showcase a wide variety of shakers based on historical facts.

But first, I want to thank the many people who helped me with this article. I called a lot of people asking for photos of shakers and information on shakers.  As a result, this article has a very large and varied assortment of shakers. I couldn’t have gotten it all together without lots of help.

Hopefully, you will see at least one shaker you find interesting.

Journey through History

Join me on a journey through history. Let’s turn back the hands of time and travel back to when…..

Noah’s ark was full of lots of animals and floated around for 40 days.

This grouping of Noah’s ark was made by Carol and Kathy, two ladies who were based in Omaha, Nebraska. They made shakers from 1996 through 2003. They made less than 20 of the Noah’s ark sets. Most were made with a blue boat and one was made with a brown boat.

This beautiful grouping of the Nativity was also made by Carol and Kathy. Again, less than 20 of the Nativity sets were made. Two of the nativity sets, including the one pictured, have gold trim.

This one-piece chalkware set depicts the Last Supper. Chalkware is basically molded plaster of Paris. It was used a lot during the depression into WWII.


The Siege of Louisburg, Nova Scotia took place in 1758 during the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years War.

The British and the Americans were fighting against the French and the Canadians. Louisburg was the capitol of the French province of Ile-Royal, known as Cape Breton Island. The Siege was won by the British-American forces and led to the end of the French control in Canada, including Quebec.

This set is of Brigadier James Wolf, who was with the British forces, and Chevalier de Drucour, who comanded the French and Canadians.

The American Revolutionary War began in 1775 and lasted until the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Valley Forge, Pennsylvania was the site of the December, 1977 to June, 1778 winter encampment of the Continental Army.

This metal set has two buildings that show George Washington’s headquarters during the encampment.

The Battle of Bunker Hill is remembered by a monument near Boston, Massachusetts.

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July 4, 1776 The Declaration of Independence was adopted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This Arcadia mini set depicts the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Bell.

The first manned balloon flight took place in Paris in 1783. The balloon was tethered and went up 75 feet.

This hot air balloon is part of a transportation series by Sarsaparilla – Deco Designs in 1986.

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Ben Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter in 1784 expressing his unhappiness over the choice of the bald eagle as the symbol of America.

Here is a chalk ware set of bald eagles.

Do you think the choice of the majestic bald eagle was correct?

Or should we have had what Ben Franklin wanted?

The turkey!

These majestic turkeys are from Blue Sky.

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In 1789 George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States.

Here we have George and Martha Washington in a souvenir set from Mount Vernon.

In 1793 Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, was beheaded.

This newer set of Marie Antoinette is a magnetic stacker.

If you take it apart, she is beheaded.

In 1797 the first parachute descent was landed safely from about 2,000 feet over Paris.

This set of a parachutist is also from the Transportation series by Sarsaparilla.

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The United States Military Academy opened at West Point, New York in 1802.

Here we have a West Point cadet and his young lady.

Among some of West Point’s better known graduates are General Dwight D. Eisenhower and General Douglas McArthur.

In 1812 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm better known as the “The Grimm’s Brothers”published the first volume of their collection of folk stories. It was called “Children’s Household Tales”. Some of the stories in the book are Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel.

This is a Disney set of Rapunzel’s tower.

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In 1814 during the War of 1812 British troops invaded Washington, DC and set fire to the Capitol, the White House and other public buildings.

Here is a one-piece chalkware set of the Capitol.

This older set of the White House is marked “Victoria Austria.”

In 1814 Francis Scott Key wrote the poem “Defense of Fort McHenry” after seeing the American flag flying over the fort. The poem became the words to “The Star Spangled Banner”, our national anthem.

These flag shakers were made by Parkcraft.

The London Beer Flood of 1814 inundated the St. Giles district of London when a large vat of beer ruptured, causing several other vats to burst as well. Over 320,000 imperial gallons of beer poured into the streets and at least 8 people were killed.

Here are four different types of beer.

In 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte met his Waterloo when British and Prussian troops defeated the French in Belgium.

This set of Napoleon and his wife was made by Enesco.

Napoleon mouse with cheese, in two different colors, doesn’t have any markings, probably made in the 1950’s or 1960’s.

I wonder what Napoleon would think to see himself portrayed as a mouse. Somehow I don’t think he would have appreciated it.

Napoleon sitting on a peanut was made by Twin Winton.

The Venus de Milo Statue was discovered in 1820 by a farmer on the Greek island of Milos.

Here is the black and white plastic Venus de Milo. And a copper colored single. Does anyone know if this comes in any other colors?

From February 23 to March 6, 1836, during the Texas revolution against Mexico, the Mexican Army assaulted the Alamo Mission and eventually killed all of it’s defenders. It was a resounding defeat for the Texans.

There are many different versions of the Alamo. This one has two pieces that fit together to form the Alamo.

Then on April 21, 1836, just about six weeks later, the Texans, led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Texas revolution was over and Texas had gained their independence.

This set depicts the San Jacinto monument and the battleship Texas.

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The New York Philharmonic was founded in 1842. The orchestra is one of the oldest musical institutions in the United States.

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Here we have a cat orchestra by CI in the Philippines.

Charles Dickens’ story “A Christmas Carol” was published for the first time in 1843. The characters of Scrooge, Marley and Tiny Tim are still familiar today.

Here is Scrooge in all his glory. Note the sprig of holly in this stacker made by Fitz and Floyd.

Elias Howe got a patent for his sewing machine in 1846.

Black and white metal sewing machines.

Here are three ceramic sets.

A plastic set. The lid opens to reveal the sewing machine.

The American Civil War began in 1861 when Fort Sumter surrendered to Confederate Forces.

The Pony Express, which only lasted 18 moths, ended in 1861 when the transcontinental telegraph took over.

This set from Gothenburg, Nebraska, depicts an original Pony Express station.

In November of 1864 Charles Dodgson (who you know better as Lewis Carroll) gave a handwritten illustrated manuscript titled “Alice’s Adventures Underground” to his 12 year old friend Alice. You probably know it better as “Alice In Wonderland”.

This set of Alice was made by Regal China.

President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April of 1865 just after the end of the American Civil War. On the night Lincoln was assassinated he conspirators also attempted to kill Vice President Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward.

This is a one-piece chalkware of Lincoln’s bust.

Two years after Lincoln’s assassination Secretary of State Seward, who survived the assassination attempt, reached an agreement to purchase Alaska (also known as Seward’s Folly) for $7.2 million. I wonder if someone else would have purchased Alaska for the United States if Seward had been killed in 1865?

Here is a Parksmith metal state.

Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone in 1876.

Here is a condiment telephone and the receiver is a one-piece shaker. Telephones also come in plastic and black and white metal.

Three years later, 1879Thomas Edison perfected a workable electric light.

These light bulbs are a souvenir set from Edison’s home in Fort Meyers, Florida.

The American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton in 1881.

This is a chalk ware set from the 1950’s depicting a Red Cross nurse.

The Washington Monument was completed in 1884.

This is a lovely lustreware set.

The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid in 1884. The statue arrived in New York harbor in 1885 and was dedicated in October of 1886.

Here is a set where the statue of Liberty sits on the state of New York. This set was part of a series where the object sits on the state. It is not known f one was made for every state. Only 8 to 10 different ones are known.

Two stacking sets of the Statue of Liberty.

In 1885 Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published.

These sets of Tom and the whitewash fence and Huckleberry Finn and Tom were made by Parkcraft.

Another set based or the book was made by Rick Wisecarver for the 1990 Convention in Memphis, Tennessee.

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania saw Phil‘s first appearance at Gobbler’s Knob in 1887.

Shakin’ Up Pennsylvania had two chapter sets made by Allison Nagle of Phil and Phyllis. The first one was done in 2011. Followed in 2015 by this nodder and condiment.

George Eastman received a patent in 1888 for his roll film box camera and registered his trademark “Kodak.”

This black camera is a nester.

Arcadia mini set of a camera and an album.

In 1888 the poem “Casey at the Bat” was first published in the San Francisco Daily Examiner. There was no joy in Mudville, Mighty Casey had struck out.

But Omnibus did not strike out with their American Folklore series done in 1994 which included this set of “Casey at the Bat.”

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The Paris Exposition opened on May 6, 1889 featuring the just completed Eiffel Tower.

This blue and white set was made by Limoges.

Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 18, 1892.

This is a Sandy Srp mini. For several years Sandy would make a special set to be auctioned off at the convention. She would make only three copies of the set. She kept one, one went to a private collector and the third would be auctioned off. In 1996 she did this one of the Nutcracker Suite. It sold for $2,400 in the auction.

The shakers are nodders of the Nutcracker and Clara.

Ice hockey’s first Stanley Cup Championship game was played on March 22, 1894. Montreal beat Ottawa with a score of 3 to 1.

This plastic shaker depicts what the Stanley Cup looks like after many years.

“The Katzenjammer Kids,” was a pioneering comic strip that made its debut in the New York Journal in 1897. It was the first cartoon to express dialogue through the use of speech balloons. The Katzenjammer Kids are twins name Hans and Fritz.

This set is German and made in the 1930’s.

This Goebel set was made in 1969.

This Goebel set is a one-piece.

To be continued…..