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Early Frankoma Shakers

   The #44 Tabbed Barrels and the #45 Moderns were the first salt and pepper shakers issued by Frankoma.  They were soon followed by the #86B Jugs.  Dinnerware sets were still in the future (Wagonwheels, 1941) but utilitarian pieces were being made with these among them.

These shakers were issued before prairie green became the dominant glaze.  It is easier to find the earlier shakers in a variety of glazes than it is to find the newer Wagonwheels shakers in a variety of glazes.  Since they were not made as part of a popular dinnerware set and since the factory fire in the fall of 1938 stopped or reduced production, all of these pieces are difficult for the collector to find.

I do not use the “H” extension of the mold number on these early sets because Frankoma did not standardize that convention until about 1942.   Where a mold number does appear on these early shakers it usually is just a two-digit number.  The “86B” shakers might have an “86B” base mark occasionally, but I have seen none.

The earliest shaker I list is 1935, but I believe the actual date is the second half of 1933.  In a letter written in 1970 in response to an inquiry about Frankoma John Frank said of the first commercially produced ware from the second half of 1933, “The pieces that were made were purely a group of bowls, vases, a few salt and peppers, coffee mugs, and pitchers”  (Cox, Two).  The shakers showing in the first catalog in 1936 are the #44 barrels and the #45 moderns.