By Carol Detweiler

(This article is based on her 2018 Convention Presentation)

Let’s continue our historical journey with Carol’s terrific article that presents history through salt and pepper shakers.  This time we concentrate on the 1900’s.

If you haven’t seen Part I, be sure to take the time to see shakers representing history from the beginning through the 1800’s.


In 1901 the Governor of New York signed a bill imposing a 15 MPH speed limit on highways.

This plastic antique car is usually seen in black, but this one is brown.

On December 17, 1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright conducted the first successful man-powered flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

This was the Convention set for the Club Convention in North Carolina in 2003.

On December 31, 1904 New York Times Square held its’ first New Year’s Eve celebration with about 100,000 people in attendance.

Let’s break out the bubbly with this double open-salt advertising bottle of French champagne.

In 1909 Leo Baekeland received a patent for Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic.

Bakelite birds

In 1910 the first Frankenstein film was released. It was a silent short movie and it was produced by Thomas Edison’s New York movie studio.

The “Mona Lisa” was stolen from the Louvre in 1911.  It was recovered two years later in Italy.

A Vandor set made in 1992

April 14, 1912 the RMS Titanic hits an iceberg and sinks.

In this set the two pieces fit together to form the Titanic. It is marked Enesco, 1998.

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Here is a nodder of the sinking Titanic and the iceberg. It is my understanding that there are only about 17 of these sets that were made. Nigel Daley sold them at his home when the Heartland Chapter visited during their trip to England.

The National Park Service was established in 1916. They are responsible for overseeing all of our wonderful National Parks.

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Mesa Verde, Colorado

Crater Lake – the two pieces form the mountain with Crater Lake in the top.

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

On April 21, 1918. Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, the German flying ace, better known as the Red Baron, was killed in action. WWI ended 7 months later.

Here is Snoopy on his doghouse as a WWI fighter pilot going out to find the Red Baron.

A sign consisting of letters 50 foot high spelling Hollywood Land was dedicated in 1923. The Land part of the sign was removed in 1949 and we still have the Hollywood sign today.

This set was made by Five and Dime.

In February, 1925 a daring sled dog relay through Alaska delivered life-saving medicine to the village of Nome. This event is now commemorated each March by the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Charles Lindberg did the first solo crossing of the Atlantic in 1927. His plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, is in the Smithsonian.

This set of Charles Lindberg is part of the Parkcraft Famous People series.

Walt Disney’s first sound synchronized animated cartoon “Steamboat Willie”premiered in 1928 starring Mickey Mouse.

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December, 1932 Radio City Music Hall opened. The Rockettes with their precise routines and high kicks have been a feature at Radio City ever since it opened.

This New York Chapter set was made by Zoom in 2000.

One of the trademark routines that the Rockettes perform is the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”.

The first episode of “The Lone Ranger” was broadcast in 1933.

Vandor came out with a series of lunch box sets.

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Here is The Lone Roger set. The lunch box has 2 holes and the thermos has 3 holes. The set came in a metal box that says lunchtime and has a photo of the set on it.

The first Laundromat opened in Fort Worth, Texas in 1934. The “Washateria” as it was called, rented four electric washing machines on an hourly basis.

Plastic washing machine shakers come in a variety of colors.

Pink and grey



And of course, white

The first Walt Disney animated cartoon featuring Donald Duck was released in 1934.

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Two American made sets of Donald Duck. Both have Walt Disney on them.

Donald had lots of family members.

This is a hard to find nodder condiment of Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Boulder Dam, now renamed Hoover Dam, began operation in 1936.

In 1937 the Hindenburg crashed in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Walt Disney’s first animated feature movie, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” had it’s world premier on December 21, 1937 in Los Angeles.

Here is one of Sandy Srp’s special sets. This one of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was done in 1997 and sold at the Club Convention auction for $2,100.00.

The Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937.

This set of the Golden Gate Bridge was available in 1996.

Also in 1937 King George the 6th was coroneted. The English always produce lots of china items to commemorate special occasions.

This is a set from King George’s coronation.

The first nylon bristle tooth brush went on sale in 1938.  It was manufactured by DuPont under the name “Dr. West’s Miracle Toothbrush”.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, New York in 1939.

Not all baseball players make the Hall of Fame, but almost all of them play in the minor league.

This set of Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz was given away at the Reading Fighting Phils minor league game on August 26, 2013. It’s a great advertising set for Unique Pretzels.

The MGM musical “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland had it’s world premier in 1939.

This set of Dorothy with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion was made by Clay Art.

In 1939 Gone with the Wind premiered and in 1940 it won 8 Academy Awards. It starred Vivian Leigh as Scarlett and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler.

These two Gone with the Wind sets each came with a tag marked “GWTW is a Turner production – Turner Entertainment Company and the Stephens Mitchell Trusts – Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc – Westland Giftware.” I think you can tell why that wasn’t stamped on the bottom!

This set of Scarlett and Mammy with Tara as the base, was done by Rick Wisecarver around 1990.

Elmer Fudd, by himself, made his debut on March 2, 1940 in a short called “Elmer’s Candid Camera”.

This is 1/2 of a 1993 Warner Brothers set.

A few months later in July of 1940 Bugs Bunny made his official debut.

This set was also made by Warner Brothers.

The first section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened in 1940. It was called “America’s First Superhighway”. It ran for 160 miles from Carlisle to Irwin.

This raised black metal tray set shows two cars (the shakers) riding on the turnpike.

After 14 years, work was completed on Mt. Rushmore in 1941.

Here is a one-piece shaker of Mt. Rushmore made by Medford Pottery.

December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor

This one-piece chalkware set is a reminder of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the USS Arizona.

Also in 1941 the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state went into operation.

This set of the Grand Coulee Dam was made in Grand Coulee, Washington.

Smokey the Bear, also known as Smokey Bear, made his debut in 1944. Smokey the Bear was authorized by the Forest Service.

This set shows Smokey from head to toe. He is holding a pail and shovel.

This set is just Smokey’s head.

Another set of Smokey with a pail and shovel. The one with the shovel is the sale and the one with the pail is pepper.

On December 27, 1947 the original version of the puppet character “Howdy Doody” made it’s television debut on “Puppet Playhouse”.

June, 1953 was the coronation of Queen Elizabeth.

Two sets of one-piece Lucite shakers from Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.

Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California on July 17, 1955.

This is a beautiful stacking set of Cinderella’s castle.

Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army in 1958. I guess he had the G.I. blues.

This set was made by Vandor as part of the Film Legend series.

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This is a one-of-a-kind set of Elvis that was made for one of our members. The microphones in Elvis’ hands are the shakers.

There are lots of Elvis shakers including these two busts of Elvis in blue and red shirts and black and white shirts. These two sets were made around 1990 by a private ceramist in Ohio.  As far as we know these were the only salt and pepper shakers she made. Only about 40 to 50 of the sets were made.

The Jetsons, an animated cartoon series about a space age family, premiered in September 1962. It was ABC network’s first program in color.

This set of the Jetsons is extremely rare. The shaker legend is that Vandor made 12 sets as a prototype and then they were not able to get a license from Hanna-Barbera. Somehow these prototypes got out of the factory without being destroyed. So you can see there is a very limited quantity of this set.

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John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. The set of JFK in the rocker wearing black pants was made in 1962.

This set of Kennedy wearing brown pants is a copy of the original.

On February 7, 1964 the Beatles arrived at New York’s JFK airport to begin their first American tour. Two days after their arrival they did their first live performance on American television on the Ed Sullivan Show.

This set was produced in 2004 by Apple Corps Limited.

This is a Sarsaparilla set from 1985.

March 8, 1965 the first U.S. combat troops land in South Vietnam.

Here is a set of bamboo shakers that when you turn them around have a sticker that says “Don & Norma 1968 Vietnam.”

Later in 1965 Sonny and Cher‘s single “I Got You Babe” was released by ATCO records.

This set of Sonny and Cher is called “Pop Love”. It was the second in a series of four sets of famous duos that were made by Allyson Nagle for the New Jersey Chapter.

In 1967 the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in what has become known as Super Bowl One.

July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong is the first man to walk on the moon.

This “out of this world” set was made by 5 & Dime.

Also in 1969 in what some regard as the birth of the Internet, two connectd computers at the University of California, Los Angeles, passed test data through a 15 foot cable.

These computers are by Sasparilla.

Towards the end of 1969Sesame Street made it’s debut on National Educational Television which later became PBS.

Bert & Ernie – Jim Hanson Productions – Enesco 1994

Big Bird – Jim Henson Productions, 1993

Miss Piggy & Kermit the Frog (those lovebirds)
This set was made by Jean Grief

Cookie Monster – Enesco, 1993

Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980.

This set is made from actual ash.



In 1981 the first space shuttle, Columbia was launched.

The 1993 Florida Convention set is a space shuttle condiment.

September 3, 1995 the online auction site eBay was founded in San Jose, California under the name “auction web.” Now you can stay home and shop for amazing shakers.

And now it’s time for….. The End