Both salt and pepper used to be served in cellars with small spoons. However, the salt would gather moisture and clump. In the 1920's, Morton Salt added magnesium carbonate to salt to prevent the clumping. This allowed for salt to poured out of a sealed container. Since pepper was always served with salt, and thought of as a pair, pepper shakers were also created.
The automobile industry is responsible for salt and pepper shakers becoming a collectible. People could travel more easily and shakers were a perfect gift due to size, price and subject matter.
Even today, salt and pepper shakers are quite collectible. You can choose to collect by style, colors, singles or by what they are made out of. Anyway you choose, they are perfect to be put on your vintage shelf display!
1. The Salt and Pepper Museum
2. Wise Apple Vintage
3. Smithsonian Magazine