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.
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.
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!