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Monday, June 20, 2011

Antique Glass Salt & Sugar Shaker Club

One of the more specialized glass-collecting clubs in the nation is The Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club. Though highly specialized, the AGSSSC will be taking part in the Mega Glass Convention, which will be held July 7-9, 2011.

The Club was founded by the late Dottie and Bill Avery in 1983 with the mission to encourage, promote and support the collection and study of late 19th and early 20th century glass salt and sugar shakers. The AGSSSC also aims to stimulate interest and education of members and the general public about antique shakers by providing written documentation, research, news articles and opportunities for meetings and discussions on specific related topics, such as coil-top salt shakers, early carnival shakers and Vaseline shakers. The Club is also highly active and an instrumental resource in identifying and valuing antique shakers.

AGSSSC members are entitled to attend the annual convention as well as receive the Club newsletter, “The Pioneer,” which is published several times each year. The cost of membership is only $25 per year per family. Susan Ryan, president of the Club, says the greatest benefit is sharing knowledge and forming new friendships. She says, “It’s great to be able to share your passion with another individual who appreciates your enthusiasm for shakers without saying, ‘You collect what?!’”

With 165 current members, the organization is large enough to move about the country for their national conventions but small enough, and tight-knit enough to hold “mini-conventions” – events where a member will host a get-together for sharing collecting experiences and the displays in their homes.

The AGSSSC’s annual conventions began in 1986, and have been held throughout the United States. What the convention locations have in common is they are usually held near a museum with a large glass exhibit. The 2009 convention was held in Corning, N.Y., and club took a tour of The Corning Museum of Glass.

Ryan said the most popular activity at the national convention is “room hopping.” It is a time for members to renew old friendships and also allows a member to see and maybe buy a hard-to-find shaker or two, either directly from another member, or at the shaker auction. Also popular are the competitive displays; different categories are represented and voted on by the attendees.

This year, from July 7-9, the Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club will be taking part in the Mega Glass Convention in Overland Park (Kansas City), Kans. Some of the other participants in the Mega Glass Convention include the National Toothpick Holders Collectors Society, the Early American Pattern Glass Society, and the National American Glass Club, just to name a few. The Mega Convention will take place at the Marriott Overland Park Hotel.

Learn more about the AGSSSC or v contact membership chairman Jan Eldridge at 413-783-4629.

AGSSSC’s Identification Project among valuable club benefits

The Identification Project has been a key activity of the AGSSS club. Many members have beautiful shakers that have not been pictured in literature. In order to give those shakers a “pedigree,” the club took on the challenge of establishing an “Identification Project.” AGSSSC members submit an “unknown” shaker to the identification committee for review.

The committee then researches the shaker to see if it can be found in any published literature, including old catalogs. All information found on the shaker is then published in “The Pioneer” for review and for further research by members. To date, the club has successfully reviewed more than 1,000 shakers and assigned names to a majority of them. This is an exclusive Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club benefit.

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