A POPULAR ARTIFACT The 1920’s prohibition era in the United States. The quintessential era of cocktail shaker history, produced many different cocktail shaker shapes and designs including zeppelins, lighthouses, penguins and towering bullet shaped or skyscraper models. These were the icons of the Jazz Age when they reached their zenith of popularity. The leading expert on these sophisticated and stylish artifacts is Stephen Visakay, a collector and dealer of cocktail shakers and bar accoutrements, and whose fascinating collection numbers over 1,400. These winsome artifacts became celebrities in their own right and were associated with the glamorous lives of movie stars and took star billing in numerous movies.
COCKTAIL SHAKER LORE
Visakay has been featured in numerous magazines and he has been named one of America’s top 100 collectors so anything you want to know about cocktail shakers can be had in his book Vintage Bar Ware –Identification and Value Guide or visit: www.visakay.com. With the advent of WWII the cocktail shaker had a brief demise because all non-essential uses of metal were redirected towards the war effort. However, the cocktail shaker was never forgotten and it had a brief resurgence in the 1950’s in “rec rooms” with bars. Then the electric blender was the final blow. However, the innkeeper who invented the cocktail shaker as we know it can be rest assured that in bars and in private homes the cocktail shaker is holding its own today as a symbol of acquired taste and sophistication.
Polly Guerin author: THE COOPER-HEWITT DYNASTY OF NEW YORK (HISTORY PRESS 2012)