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 took part in the Mega Glass Conventionheld 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. The 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 took 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.
To learn more about the AGSSSC, visit www.antiquesaltshakers2.com or contact membership chairman Jan Eldridge at 413-783-4629.
Learn more about the 2011 Mega Glass Convention at www.2011mega-glassconvention.info.
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