Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers

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Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers
Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum Gatlinburg.jpg
Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers is located in Tennessee
Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers
Location within Tennessee
Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers is located in the United States
Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers
Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers (the United States)
Location461 Brookside Village Way, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, United States
Coordinates35°42′58″N 83°30′09″W / 35.715979°N 83.502480°W / 35.715979; -83.502480Coordinates: 35°42′58″N 83°30′09″W / 35.715979°N 83.502480°W / 35.715979; -83.502480

The Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It houses more than 20,000 pairs of salt and pepper shakers from all over the world. There is also a sister museum in El Castell de Guadalest, Alicante, Spain, which displays another 20,000 pairs. The museum was founded in 2002 by Andrea Ludden, a Belgian archaeologist. Her stated goal was to show the creativity of all the artists that have crafted an everyday item into a myriad of shapes and materials.[1]


Andrea started collecting pepper mills in 1984 and soon, salt and pepper shakers became the focus of her collection. In 2002, the museum opened in Cosby, Tennessee[1] before moving to Winery Square, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in 2005. According to Food Network's Unwrapped TV program, over 20,000 people have visited the museum in 2005.[2][3]

In May 2010, Andrea opened a sister museum "Museo de Saleros y Pimenteros" in El Castell de Guadalest, Alicante, Spain.[4][5]

Organization and purpose[edit]

The galleries consist of many display cases which exhibit the shakers in categories: Christmas, Plastic, Americana, Amish, Wood, Vegetables, Transportation, Chefs, Foods, Drinks, Chickens, Cows, Cats and Dogs, Wild Animals, Marine, Characters, Souvenirs, Asian, Glass, Metals and Delft. The shakers are also organized by material and color, and if a particular set comes in more than one color, these are included to show all the possibilities.

There is a section dedicated to Morton Salt Company, which explains how shakers came to be, thanks to Morton's invention that helps salt not clump together. Before shakers, salt was stored in salt cellars, which are also displayed in the collection.[6] The museum also includes more than 1500 Pepper Mills.[7]

The museums have both an entertainment and educational purpose. As Andrea Ludden said: "All my effort is to show the 20s, the 40s, the 60s, etc, how civilization can change, you see it through the salt and pepper shakers".[2][3] The museum is often visited by art students as well as home schoolers.[8] The museum is also a dog-friendly establishment.[9]

The museum is often consulted to settle the question of How many holes for Salt or Pepper?[10]

In the media[edit]

The two museums are often in the media. The fact that such a mundane item can be both utilitarian and decorative has inspired many artists to create beautiful, unusual, comical, and yet practical shakers. What surprises visitors and reviewers alike, is that once the amazing variety is revealed, they can never be taken for granted again.

  • The museum was featured in 2006 in the Food Network's Unwrapped with Marc Summers, Episode 1402.[2][3]
  • Rob Wilds interviewed Andrea for the TV program Tennessee Crossroads.[11]
  • The museums are often featured in various top 10 strangest or unusual museums lists, such as Travel and Leisure,[12] CNN Travel,[13] Saturday Evening Post,[14] El Mundo,[15] Vanity Fair,[16] etc.[17][18][19][20][21][22]
  • On July 18, 2009 the museum was mentioned in a skit on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC).[23]
  • For the opening of the museum in Spain, Andrea was interviewed on the Valencian TV station Canal Nou.[24]
  • In 2012, the museum appeared in the Smithsonian Magazine online.[6]
  • Also in 2012, the museum was featured in the book "Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus", by Joyce Magnin.[25] This very entertaining book relates Harriet Beamer's visit of the museum, and her growing collection of salt and pepper shakers.
  • The American Profile article was syndicated to the Sunday section of many newspapers throughout the country.[7]
  • There have been several radio interviews, such as Australia's ABC Radio,[26] PBS Radio KCBX Podcast,[27] American Voices - Senator Bill Bradley interview on Sirius (9/19/2015).[28]
  • The Associated Press article by Caryn Rousseau appeared in many newspapers around the country, such as the News-Herald,[29] Deseret News,[30] South Coast Today,[31] etc.
  • In 2015 the museum was published in The Guardian.[32]


  1. ^ a b "Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers, Gatlinburg, Tennessee". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  2. ^ a b c "Shake It Up". Food Network. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  3. ^ a b c Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum (2009-11-10), Food Network's Unwrapped Episode 1402, retrieved 2018-03-19
  4. ^ Fuster, María José (2013-03-27). "procoleccionismo: Una colección de saleros y pimenteros". procoleccionismo. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  5. ^ "Guadalest". ELLE (in European Spanish). 2013-01-21. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  6. ^ a b Workman, Derek. "Would You Like Some Salt and Pepper? How About 80,000 Shakers' Worth?". Smithsonian. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  7. ^ a b "Salt and Pepper Shaker Collection". American Profile. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  8. ^ "The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum - Travel and Homeschool". Travel and Homeschool. 2015-07-28. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  9. ^ "Dog-Friendly Attractions - The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg Tennessee 37738". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  10. ^ "Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  11. ^ "Tennessee Crossroads - Program Info". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  12. ^ "America's Strangest Museums". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  13. ^ "15 of the world's weirdest museums". CNN Travel. 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  14. ^ Society, The Saturday Evening Post. "America's Weirdest Museums | The Saturday Evening Post". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  15. ^ "Museos muy originales". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  16. ^ "Aquí tiene nueve de los museos más extraños del mundo". Vanity Fair (in Spanish). 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  17. ^ Muñoz, Elisa (2017-05-18). "Diez museos curiosos de España". Cadena SER (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  18. ^ "10 Weirdest Museums You Really Should Visit". HowStuffWorks. 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  19. ^ "The world's got some strangely specific museums (23 Photos)". theCHIVE. 2017-01-14. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  20. ^ "10 Peculiar Museums You Must See To Believe - Listverse". Listverse. 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  21. ^ "10 museos raros que no te puedes perder". Guía Repsol (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  22. ^ Tibballs, Geoff (2016-10-20). The World's 100 Weirdest Museums: From the Moist Towelette Museum in Michigan to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb. Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN 9781472136961.
  23. ^ Late Night With Jimmy Fallon : WBAL : July 18, 2009 12:35am-1:35am EDT, WBAL, 2009-07-18, retrieved 2018-03-19{{citation}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  24. ^ Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum (2010-12-16), Museo de Saleros y Pimenteros en El Castell de Guadalest, retrieved 2018-03-19
  25. ^ Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus, Joyce Magnin, Zondervan, 2012, ISBN 0310333563, 9780310333562
  26. ^ The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2016-09-25, retrieved 2018-03-19
  27. ^ Wilmer, Tom. "America's only Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum--a Gatlinburg, Tennessee hidden gem". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  28. ^ "American Voices on Sirius/XM Radio". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  29. ^ "And you thought salt and pepper shakers were boring!". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  30. ^ "Museum boasts 20,000 salt and pepper shaker sets". 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  31. ^ ROUSSEAU, CARYN. "Museum boasts 20,000 salt and pepper shaker sets". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  32. ^ Harlan, Susan (2015-05-31). "In Tennessee, the world's premier fantasyland of salt and pepper shakers". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-03-19.

External links[edit]