Item Number: #SS-04
Production Dates: 1915 – documented through 1925 (possibly longer)
Salt Shaker No. 1 – F.G.T. is a very special treasure from the Fostoria American 2056 line. It is with great pleasure that I am able to present it to you today. It all started a couple of months ago when I sent out a request on social media asking any FA collectors that owned one-of-a-kind or unique salt shakers to contact me. Jared McLeod was one of those collectors. He has graciously provided me with photos (which I have photo-edited where needed), and provided answers to many of my questions. Unknowingly to him, he had provided me with the last piece of information I was missing to complete a report on the Salt Shakers of 1915. It is a project I have been working on for years. Thank you, Jared McLeod. ♥
What excites me most about this item is that I have not seen it featured, or shown, in any published book or catalog. While some books have certainly mentioned the No. 1 Shaker, F.G.T. in a short line or sentence, pictures of the item were always missing. I am thrilled to be able to share the following information with you today, made possible by collectors working together and sharing vital information.
From the collection of Jared McLeod
First and foremost, this particular salt shaker is not a one-of-a-kind or a whimsy. I want to be very clear on that fact. While most collectors have never seen this item, nor seen a photo of it in a book, that does not mean it was not a regularly produced item in the 2056 line. Indeed, it was. It was one of the first salt shakers introduced. Shaker “No. 1” came with four different top options:
- H.N.T. (Heavy Nickel Top)
- H.S.T. (Heavy Silver Top)
- “W” Top (Glass Disc, with a Heavy Nickel Band)
- F.G.T. (Fostoria Glass Top)
What we are witnessing here is the extremely rare #4 item – Salt Shaker No. 1 – F.G.T. It should not surprise anyone why they are so rare. They were introduced over 100 years ago, with screw-on glass tops! Today, we seem to have a hard time finding glass tops in good condition for the later-produced No. 2 Salt Shakers, so imagine how difficult it must be to find them on a pair that are 95-105 years old. Diligent care was needed over many years to ensure that they would survive for over a century. Those that endured certainly deserve a place at the head of the table!
I asked Jared if he actually used his shakers, or were they for display purposes only. He replied, “I use my Fostoria shakers for holidays, but I have a Whitehall set for everyday use. You can never be too careful with the kids around!” In his good hands, I am sure these shakers will survive for another century.
So, where does one find shakers like these? I asked Jared just that, and learned that he did not find them online. He discovered them in an antique mall, while treasure hunting.
“I found them up in Door County a few years back. It’s a picturesque, touristy area on the peninsula of Wisconsin. The set was $10, so I grabbed them and ran!” – Jared McLeod
These shakers, as I mentioned earlier, were introduced in 1915. After thorough research through Fostoria records, it was determined that they were produced for at least ten years. While I have never seen actual published production dates attributed to this item, I am now extremely pleased to state they were (at the very least) produced from 1915-1925. Possibly a few years longer, but I will have to wait for more documentation before making that determination.
From the collection of Jared McLeod
The glass tops are approximately 1½” in diameter. The lids are more flush with the sides of the shaker as opposed to the metal H.N.T. shakers. Each top has 16 holes. One lid has smaller holes, while the other has larger holes. I could find no documentation in Fostoria records (regarding this piece) that designated which top was for salt, and which one was for pepper. The popular opinion upon collectors is that the top with the large holes was for the pepper. However, there seems to be much debate in modern times when it comes to the “Salt and Pepper Rule”. I will leave that final determination up to you.
If you are interested in purchasing Fostoria American Salt Shakers, please click the following affiliate link for available Salt and Pepper Shakers on eBay. The chance of Salt Shakers No. 1 – F.G.T. showing up on eBay are rare, though it is possible. Some people might not know what they have, but thankfully … we do now. They do exist, and they are out there. I do know of another party that has seen these shakers in person; however, the owner is not willing to give them up just yet. I encourage you to keep looking, and happy treasure hunting!
From the collection of Dennis and Pat Early
Photo Credit: Dennis and Pat Early
This is a unique shaker, and worthy of sharing. Underneath the overlay is a Fostoria American Shaker, with a “W” Top. This particular style of shaker is not common. One rarely sees them online, or even at estate auctions and antique stores. Since they are over 100 years old, and rather difficult to find … imagine your excitement if you were to stumble across one with a beautiful silver overlay. Well, that is exactly what happened to Dennis and Pat Early.
The silver overlay treatment is mainly applied to the edges of the cubes, and this application really highlights the design of the American pattern. As with most vintage shakers with decades of use, the tops would often become iodized and their finish worn down to their bare metal. Since the metal bands on these shakers were pristine and full of shine, I inquired about their finish.
“When we obtained these tops, the original plating was almost completely gone. We had them replated with nickel.”
– Dennis and Pat Early
The Early’s have a large Fostoria American collection; however, they only have one of these shakers. They purchased it on eBay years ago, and it was sold singularly – not as a set. This silver overlay design was not produced at Fostoria Glass for the American pattern; therefore, it is important to note that this treatment was done by a third-party. By whom, remains a mystery. We also don’t know if multiples were produced, or if this is a “one-of-a-kind” piece. Personally, I like a little mystery in my collecting – which makes this piece very intriguing.
Photo Credit: Dennis and Pat Early
In this photo, the silver overlay shaker is on the left; a regular Shaker (“W” Top) is on the right. Both shakers; however, have had their metal bands replated with nickel. These pieces are a fine example of how you can bring a vintage treasure back to its original luster. If your vintage tops are in good condition, with the exception of a worn finish, getting them replated might be all that is needed for them to shine like the day they were born.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Dennis and Pat Early for sharing a piece from their American collection. If you would like to learn more about this particular style shaker, please refer to this post for size, pictures and details. Please click the following sponsored link for available Salt and Pepper Shakers on eBay.
Item Number: #SS-10
Production Dates: 1925
The Fostoria American Table Salt is a rare item, indeed. It was only produced circa 1925; therefore, the quantity thereof is extremely limited. If you find one, expect to pay a higher price for it. That price, obviously, will vary with the current market and trends.
The Table Salt is approximately 1½” high, with a 2⅜” diameter. It is the largest open salt receptacle made in the American pattern. According to custom, the Table Salt would typically be placed on the table. The host would then retrieve the salt from the Table Salt and serve it into the smaller Individual Salt dishes. As their names imply, the Table Salt was for the entire table, while the Individual Salts were for each individual guest sitting at the table.
Please click the following sponsored link for available Salt dishes on eBay. While the Individual Salts are much easier to find – and relatively inexpensive to purchase, the Table Salt is a different kind of treasure. There are still some out there; however, they are much more difficult to find.
Item Number: #632
Production Dates: 1924-1982
The Fostoria American Individual Salt dish is a sweet little piece. After retrieving the seasoning from a master salt dish (a much larger receptacle), the dinner host would typically fill these Individual Salt dishes and place them at each place setting. These small glass vessels are sometimes referred to as a salt dip, open salt or salt dish.
The Individual Salts are the smallest salt servers in the Fostoria American pattern. A larger Table Salt Dip was made around 1925, and it is an extremely rare piece to find. According to custom, these larger Table Salt receptacles would sit on the table – and from there the salt would be retrieved into the smaller Individual Salt dishes (which are only about 1″ high).
As a convenience, there are little salt spoons that one can buy to use with the Individual Salts, and it proves to be a tidy and elegant way to serve the seasoning. The salt spoons; however, were not made by Fostoria Glass. Any small and/or vintage salt spoon should work nicely (as pictured here). Many people today aren’t even aware salt used to be served this way. I think it is a precious tradition, and worthy of continuing.
Please click the following sponsored link for available Individual Salt dishes on eBay.
Item Number: #SS-03
Production Dates: 1915-1926 (estimated)
The Fostoria American Shaker, “W” Top (glass disc with a heavy nickel band) is a special find. This particular type of shaker is not common. I rarely see them online, or at estate auctions and antique stores. They are some of the oldest pieces you will ever find in the American pattern and were a pioneering piece in the Fostoria American debut catalog of 1915.
These shakers are large, and have a straight-sided shape. They have an approximate height between 3 – 3¼ inches (with the Top attached). The Top consists of two pieces – the metal band (or ring), and a perforated glass disc. The glass inserts are removable, delicate, and need to be handled with care. The early produced glass discs should have 13 holes. Later variations will have 7 holes.
The Shaker, “W” Top item is quite substantial, both in weight and appearance. As with similar vintage salt shakers, the finish on the metal tops may become worn, flaky, or pitted over the years. Salt is highly corrosive; therefore, it is always advised to empty the shakers when they are not in use.
Since these shakers are over 100 years old, and rather difficult to find … imagine your excitement if you were to stumble across one with a beautiful silver overlay. Well, that is exactly what happened to Dennis and Pat Early. You can read all about their special find here – Shaker, “W” Top – Silver Overlay.
If you are interested in purchasing similar Shakers, please click the following sponsored link for available Salt and Pepper Shakers on eBay.
Item Number: #SS-01
Production Dates: 1915-1945
These straight-sided Shakers, H.N.T. (with Heavy Nickel Tops), are a true favorite of mine. I particularly like their hefty size, grand appearance, and vintage vibe. When filled with salt or pepper, these sturdy Shakers are not easily prone to tipping over. Fostoria American Shakers, with the Heavy Nickel Tops, have a height of approximately 3 inches.
This particular style Shaker was one of the first to be showcased in the American pattern. Some of the old Fostoria catalogs list the Shaker as “No. 1”, dating back to the 1915 era. It was produced for about 30 years. The actual height of the Shaker can vary slightly, depending on what type of Top or Lid came with it. Originally, you had an option in the Tops – such as H.N.T. (Heavy Nickel Top), H.S.T. (Heavy Silver Top), “W” Top (Glass Disc, with a Heavy Nickel Band), etc. Over the years, the availability and composition of the Tops have changed.
The Fostoria Shakers (with Heavy Nickel Tops) are quite substantial, both in weight and appearance. The finish on the Tops may become worn, flaky, or pitted over the years. Since salt is highly corrosive, it is always advised to empty the Shakers when they are not in use.
If you are interested in purchasing similar Shakers, please click the following affiliate link for available Salt and Pepper Shakers on eBay.