Would You Like Some Salt and Pepper? How About 80,000 Shakers' Worth?

Over the course of just a couple of decades, the Ludden family has amassed enough novelty shakers to fill two museums

Andrea Ludden's collection of over 40,000 pairs of salt and pepper shakers started completely by chance when Ludden bought a pepper mill at a garage sale in the mid-1980s. (Courtesy of Derek Workman)

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The museum doesn’t display all the shakers it owns. But it does exhibit a few Aunt Gemima and Uncle Tom shakers, the cook and butler stereotypical characters from the 1950s, knowing some people might be offended by the negative portrayal of African-Americans. “They are part of the history of salt and pepper shakers, so we display them, but we do it discreetly,” she says. “You can’t change history by simply pretending it didn’t happen or ignoring it.”

But the museum draws the line at pornography. “There are a lot of pornographic models available,” says Andrea. “We’ve got about 60 pairs, ranging from a bit cheeky to quite explicit, but ours is a family museum, so we prefer not to put them on display.”

About Derek Workman

Derek Workman is an English journalist living in Valencia who “delights in searching out the weird, the wonderful and the idiosyncratic, which Spain has by the bucketful.” He blogs at Spain Uncovered.

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