The Identification Project has been a key activity of the club since the late 1980's. At that time there was almost no existing literature concerning the beautiful antique art glass shakers of its members. Many members had ornate shakers with their exquisite decorations and wished they knew more about their history. Thus, the Club decided that a major part of its mission should be to establish an "Idetification Project" in which members could submit a shaker and should ultimately be able to learn what experts thought about its history, such as which manufacturer made it, what was the pattern's name, about when was it made, and other details. In addition, the Club started a web site which would show a photo of each submitted shaker and the data concerning it.
This ID project has been a very successful endeavor. The club has reviewed over 1,100 shakers and determined as best it could the detailed properties of each shaker. Any Club member can submit an "unknown" shaker to the "Identification Project Committee" for review. The committee does research to see if the shaker can be found in any published literature, especially in several books, old catalogs, etc. All information found on the shaker is then published in the Club's newsletter, "The Pioneer", for review, and a request is made to determine if any other Club member has information concerning the shaker. All data is then collected and sorted by the Committee and summarized in a Data Sheet for each shaker. This information is then presented at a special open meeting of the Club at its annual convention, and the actual shaker (or a large Power Point photo of it) is reviewed by the attending membership. If the original shaker name is not found, a vote is taken among attending members to determine an appropriate name and the shaker can then be entered into the Club's data base and onto the web site.
Many of the early shakers approved by the ID Committee had their description and photo published by Ralph and Mildred Lechner in the second and third volumes of their The World of Salt Shakers books. The Lechners typically used the Club's assigned name in those cases where the original name could not be found, and they also made use of the Club's research information in their discussion on each shaker. Rather than publish an additional book on shakers, the Club's goal is now to continue to expand and improve its web site so it becomes the major reference on shaker information. Members can use it to learn about their shakers and also to identify those shakers for which they have no name or information. The Club is currently in the midst of a major upgrade of its site. Improved procedures for locating and identifying a shaker are being implemented. The Club's ambitious goal is to include all Victorian era antique salt and sugar shakers in its on-line listing, which will definitely be useful and increase the interest of buyers, sellers, and collectors.