Maben Library displays salt, pepper shakers

By Dottie Dewberry For the WPT

MABEN — Did you know?

“The saltshaker and pepper shaker (or in the UK, salt and pepper pots) are condiment holders used in Western culture that are designed to allow diners to distribute edible salt and ground peppercorns.

“Since more people use salt than pepper (and most people are right- handed), the saltshaker is placed to the right of the pepper shaker, in a position closer to the right hand. Because salt is finer than pepper, the lid of the saltshaker is punctured with smaller, more numerous holes than a pepper shaker.

“When salt is requested at a meal, as a courtesy to the diner, the salt and pepper shaker are passed together (Wikipedia).” On July 9 at the Maben Public Library, Mrs. Jimmie Cooper graciously allowed the library to put a selection of her 250 sets of salt and pepper shakers on display for the public to appreciate.

Mrs. Cooper says her Aunt Peggy Potter had a large display of shakers that she had always admired. So, one year her aunt gave her a sizeable collection of shakers to get her started. Over the years, friends and family have added to her compilation.

According to Jimmie, she has shakers from 24 states and a few countries (Canada, Jamaica).

She has collected sets of animals (dogs, cats, pigs, mice, sock monkeys, roosters, turtles, birds, fish, elephants, chickens), and several with holiday motifs: Christmas Santa and boots, Thanksgiving pumpkins, Halloween scarecrows. Many are made of glass, some of wood and a few metal. All are unique.

A number have special meanings: Mr. James Soller donated to her a bird with a nest set that had been in his family for a long time. Jimmie’s daughter and son-in-law brought her one set that was made by prisoners in Alcatraz. She has one that is a MSU bulldog with two bones that are the shakers. Many of the sets have unique pieces: a mouse with two pieces of cheese; a squirrel with two acorns; a moonshiner with a jug; a raccoon and a trashcan; a bird with tree stump and many more that are duplicates of each other.

One special one comes from Monterey, Calif., which was brought to her when her husband, Bootsie, was stationed there with the National Guard in 1967.

She also has a set that looks like wooden cook pots that are stamped “Eupora, MS”; she thinks she got them from the TWL store.

The display will be available for viewing for the month of July.