Ildiko Seitzer of Loyalsock Township, has been collecting salt and pepper shakers since she was 11 years old.
"Most of my friends collected figurines. I thought salt and pepper shakers were more fun because they could be used for a purpose, not just sitting around. Although now, most of mine sit around!" Seitzer said, adding that she likes things that come in pairs as well.
Her first two sets were a pair of pink cats and pink polka dot mushrooms.
Ildiko Seitzer, Loyalsock Township, has been collecting salt and pepper shakers since she was 11 years old. She now has 579 pairs. In the above photo Seitzer holds her Harley Davidson shakers and below is a bookcase displaying her collection, grouped by theme.
Those two sets turned into 579 pairs of salt and pepper shakers ranging in size, shape, color, variety and theme. Her collection also contains memorabilia from places she's visited, including Pittsburgh, Niagara Falls, California, Florida, locations south of the border in South Carolina, the Bloomsburg Fair, Georgia and many more.
Seitzer said her favorite pairs are the Harley-Davidson and Grateful Dead bears.
"My late husband just loved those. He would refer to my shakers as 'Ildi's treasures,' " she said.
Many of the shakers were collected on motorcycle rides and tours.
Although she only uses three pairs on a daily basis, Seitzer said she gets use out of all of them. She diligently cleans them and cares for them, as some of them are fragile.
Her oldest is a pair of Chinese men from the '40s that she found in an antique shop. "I just thought they were really cool," she said.
Seitzer has her collection housed on bookshelves and grouped by theme: animals, food, chickens, celebrities and holidays, including Halloween, Seitzer's favorite holiday.
"They add color to my life and my environment," she said.
Some other memorable pairs that she has range in theme from a Royal Canadian Mountie and his horse, which Seitzer said is her most valuable pair, to a hand-painted pair by Robert Mayokok with Inuits on it.
"I saw them in an antique shop and I just knew they were special," she said.
She also has clowns from the '50s that sit on top of each other, a spoon and a fork, toasters, beer cans and bottles, and Pepsi and Coke shakers. She even has two handmade ones from her friend, Bonnie Mardis, that are pigs and dragons. Seitzer said she likes to surround herself with gifts made by her friends.
Most of Seitzer's collection has been found in thrift shops and antique stores.
"Most of my collection were chosen by me, but many of them were gifts from family and friends who knew of my 'obsession,' " she said.
Seitzer also said when looking for salt and pepper shakers, they have to stand out to her and grab her attention.
She even found a unique pair from Lycoming College, the school her daughter went to, in an antique store.
Through her travels, Seitzer has come up against other salt and pepper shaker collectors wanting the same pair.
"I once tried to bid on a 1950s washer and dryer salt and pepper shaker set that were still in a box at a thrift shop that was in Montoursville," she said, "I lost out on it, so apparently I am not the only collector in the area. This was the only time I ever bid on an auction item in my life! The shakers were part of a charity silent auction."
Seitzer was born in Germany to Hungarian parents and is a tie-dye artist. She sells her hand-made clothing and accessories at arts and craft shows around Pennsylvania.