Collectible fruit jars preserve the past
This was another patent date that was printed on many mason jars, and that has no bearing on the year of production. How about that big number on the bottom of many jars? Sometimes these deep brown jars are sold, either inadvertently or intentionally, as real amber jars. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. These jars were made by the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. There is a rumor that jars with the number 13 were more valuable because superstitious people were afraid to can in them, broke them or threw them away.
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The old original Ball jars from Buffalo, New York are very collectible. Other square jars date from the 20s, 30s and later. When first made these jars were often sold as commercial packing jars that homemakers later used for canning. The prize was won by Nicolas Appert, the father of home canning, who discovered that foods tightly corked in a bottle and subjected to heat by boiling would keep for long periods of time. You might even try selling them at a yard sale.
I have a half gallon aqua mason jar with Mason's N Patent Nov 30th on it. Is this a rare jar? I'm afraid your jar is not rare. There are many of them for sale online, and are not hard to find. Typically the bottom of the mason jars curves inward. These jars go straight down at the bottom. Is this a sign of their age? They may be a type of jam jar. Jam jars today still go straight to the bottom.
If the top is still attached to it, look at that. It may have a date. Not Helpful 4 Helpful What could have been in a jar that looks like a wine bottle and has a ball on the bottom of the jar? Bottles and jars had unique shapes to help identify the contents. If the shape is a wine bottle shape, it probably is one. Not Helpful 3 Helpful 8. I have an old ball canning jar that says "Sanitary Sure Seal" on the front below the word Ball. How old is it? If the jar is blue, then it's like from the early s.
More specifically, the jar is probably from between and The price of the jar will depend on the size and the condition. Not Helpful 4 Helpful 9. I have a half gallon, ball blue, ideal wire side, with the dropped A.
Answer this question Flag as What numbers do I look for to estimate value? I have one with a star on it anything on that one? How do I learn about old ball mason jars? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Article Info Featured Article Categories: Featured Articles Kitchen Collectibles In other languages: Oude Ball Mason potten dateren Edit Send fan mail to authors. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read , times.
JN Jon Nelson Jun 8, I hadn't even noticed that before reading this article. JL Johnnie Lee Sep 25, Those and many things in your article helped me.
LB Lois Billiot Mar 21, I learned something that will be of great use in the future. This date refers to the original patent date, not the actual date of manufacture. Jars carrying this embossing, often with other monograms, numbers, letters, etc. Most were produced in the ss. The identities of many actual manufacturers are unknown. Value depends on embossing, color and size. Lightning jars represent an important advancement in the history of home canning and are still a part of American culture.
Some historians suggest that the term "white lightning" may have been inspired not only from the effect of ingesting homemade corn whiskey but by the name of the jars the whiskey was frequently stored in.
These familiar jars with their glass lids and wire bales are still found in novelty stores today. In , Henry William Putnam of Bennington, Vermont, invented a new kind of fruit jar by adopting a bottle stopper patent by Charles de Quillfeldt. The Lightning jars became popular because the glass lids prevented food contact with metal, the metal clamps were cheap to produce and the lids themselves were much easier to seal and remove.
The name Lightning suggested that the jars were quick and easy to use. Variations of the glass lid and wire-bale scheme of the Lightning jar were produced for home canning into the s. The earliest advertisements for the Lightning jar date back to the year Putnam was the man behind the marketing of the Lightning jars and making them popular. Putnam also held exclusive ownership of the patents, and for many years, claimed the impressive profits from selling the jars.
There were also variations of the Lightning jar produced in Australia. A trademark patent was issued to H. Putnam in for the name Lightning. Interestingly, Putnam was living in San Diego at the time but it is not known if any California company made his jars glass.
The Lightning jars come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes and can be a collecting specialty in and of themselves. When first made these jars were often sold as commercial packing jars that homemakers later used for canning. Value of Lightning jars varies greatly. Price is usually determined by size, style and especially color.
There were some reproduction amber Lightning jars from Taiwan produced in the s. They are quart sized and have new and what I would say are sloppy looking wires. They have smooth lips, are dark amber in color and have Putnam on the base. There could be legitimate Lightning jars with Putnam on base, although I've never actually asked anyone if they have one in their collections.
Once you've seen a few repros it's pretty easy to spot one on a table. Collectors frequently refer to these numbers as "mold numbers. Originally when jars were blown by hand, the number represented a specific glass blower and his team.
At the end of the day the blower and his team would get paid for the amount of jars they produced as determined by the number of jars made with a given number on them.
Later, when glass making went to machine the numbers represented the mold or machine the jar was made from usually molds per machine or one to several machines per factory.
That way the plant manager could check quality control, production, etc. Today you can frequently find numbers on new jars that indicate date of manufacture, plant location, job number, etc. There is a rumor that jars with the number 13 were more valuable because superstitious people were afraid to can in them, broke them or threw them away.
However, I have never found any concrete evidence to back up this claim. Lately, these jars have sold for more on on-line auctions such as eBay.
Square jars were considered a design improvement because a homemaker could stack more jars together in less space thus allowing a family to put up more food in their small cellars or cupboards.
Boston, Mass in the late s. Other square jars date from the 20s, 30s and later. The value of square shaped jars tends to be higher than round as it seems that fewer square jars were made. A number of different companies did make the square style jars as the design wasn't exclusive to any one manufacturer. Lewis Boyd filed a patent in for "an improved mode of preventing corrosion in metallic caps" i.
This innovation kept food from coming in contact with the zinc in the screw caps. Boyd was actually one of three men who gained control of the patent for screw caps and jars originally filed by John L. The makers of Boyd fruit jars are different from the "Boyd" milk glass inserts.
These jars date from the 's and 's and have no relation to Lewis Boyd. These jars took a round rubber gasket with a tab. The only source that I know of today where these rings can be found is at http: The modern two-piece metal cap and ring with a new jar is the best system for home canning.
It can be dangerous to use the old lids and jars to can today. It is very difficult to determine the age of a fruit jar without seeing it. However, there are a few ways to make an educated guess at the date of an antique jar or bottle. Probably the most important is the presence or absence of a pontil scar. Typically, American pontil scarred bottles predate or so. Another age determiner is the presence of mold seams. Many of the earliest bottles or jars were freeblown that is, blown without the aid of a mold therefore have no mold seam.
Seams which stop short of the lip indicate that the bottle was blown into a mold then finished by hand by adding a top or tooling the lip into shape.
Machine-made jars dating after about have mold seams extending from the bottom up to and across the top of the jar. Another way to tell the general age of a jar is to examine it from top to bottom. Is the top smooth to the touch or is it rough and ground off?
Look at the base of your jar. If the base of your jar has a round ring in it and the lip is smooth, your jar was probably machine made sometime after the turn of the century but probably before the s. If the jar has a large, rough and jagged ring on its base, it was probably made between and when the Owens machine was in popular use. Machine-made jars after the s have a more modern look and frequently have small scars on the bottom indicating they were made on more modern, sophisticated machines.
Most jars with rough ground tops were made before The ground lip resulted when the glassmaker ground the top to eliminate the "blow-over.
The blow-overs were removed and the top was then ground flat. If you jar is a "wax-sealer" then it was probably made between the s to the s. If you have a clear jar that has turned purple then it was made before WWI when supplies of Manganese Dioxide, the chemical that causes old glass to turn purple in the sun, was cut off by German blockades.
If your jar has gripping ridges on its side that allow a firmer grip on the jar when twisting on or off the lid, then the was made after when these ridges were invented.
The best way to determine the exact age of a fruit jar is to consult a research book such as "The Standard Fruit Jar Reference" by Dick Roller or a volume of "The Fruit Jar Works" by Alice Creswick, or ask an experienced collector to look at your jar.
The manufacture of fruit jars really didn't take off until after the civil war. Before the war, canning jars many were actually large, heavy, bulky enamel lined cans were expensive and difficult to use.
Mason's patent was issued in but it wasn't until the Consolidated Fruit Jar Company began making jars after the war did the Mason jar really begin catching on. Later, another major jar manufacturer and Consolidated's bitter rival the Hero Fruit Jar company Hero being in reference to the civil war.
The jars carried a 'Hero's cross' as the company's trademark fought in court with Consolidated over patents. Wax sealer jars as well as old canning crocks could be appropriate Civil War period examples of canning jars. Some were made during the period. They are more readily available and cost less to purchase than other Civil War era jars. The old original "Crowleytown" masons are appropriate, however, they have a distinctly different look from that of the later "mason jars. I have another Civil War era jar in my collection with a metal screw lid that has two prongs protruding out of the top.
Again it looks different than later jars. The shoulders are more curved and the jar has a heavier more primitive look. The Crowleytowns have the same curved shoulders but are actually light in weight the glass being rather thin. They also look a little more primitive than jars manufactured later. Another jar pioneer worth mentioning is Adam R.
Because mason jar and fruit jar making really didn't take off until after the war, many Civil War era jars are rare and collectible, some going for thousands of dollars. The wax sealers mentioned above, however, go for appx. People have used crockery containers for pickling and storing food for centuries.
An early example of a pottery jar used for home canning was what I call a "canning crock. Others, without grooves, sealed with parchment or cloth. Some of these are civil war era. Manufacturers used Mason's patent on crockery canning jars as well as the famous Weir patent of utilizing a cast iron clamp pivoting on a wire bale. The jar sealed on the top with a rubber gasket between the top of the jar and a domed crockery or glass lid.
The Weir jar was the forerunner of the modern cheese jar you still find at places like Swiss Colony or Hickory Farms. Some crockery canning jars, especially those made in Red Wing, Minnesota are in demand by both jar collectors and Red Wing pottery collectors. One good example is the Union Stoneware jar that uses a standard zinc lid and rubber ring.
In , Mason sold five of his early patents, including the mason jar, to Lewis R. Boyd is most famous for patenting a white "milk-glass" insert for zinc screw lids to theoretically lessen the chances that food would come in contact with metal. Chambers Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When manufacturers produce glass, chemicals clarifying agents must be added to clarify the batch in order to turn it from its original color of aqua-blue or green to clear. Prior to the start of the First World War, manufacturers used Manganese Dioxide as their chemical agent of choice to clarify glass.
When a jar or bottle turns purple from sunlight, manganese dioxide is the substance in the glass that reacts with sunlight to cause the color change. Russia was the primary source of this chemical. When the First World War broke out, our source of manganese dioxide was cut off by German blockades. It was the perseverance of the 19th-century housewives to preserve food for their families to be used through the non-growing months that brought us to where we stand today in food preservation.
Those early fruit jar pioneers paved the way for the tinned and bottled foods that we buy so easily at the supermarket.
Many of the jars they used are marvels of engineering. Fruit jar development made it possible for the commercial canners to develop ways to provide us with canned fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be unavailable during much of the year.
Food for his armies was a problem as they moved farther from home, finding cattle hidden and crops burned before them. So Napoleon offered a prize of 12, francs for the development of a way to preserve foods that could be carried with the invading troops. The prize was won by Nicolas Appert, the father of home canning, who discovered that foods tightly corked in a bottle and subjected to heat by boiling would keep for long periods of time. His work led to the development of the fruit jar as we know it today.
The stopper had a hole in the center through which the steam could escape during the boiling process; this hole was to be stopped with a drop of cement when the processing was complete.
It sounds quite feasible for the time, but unfortunately, there are no known examples made precisely to this patent. One of the earliest jars recognized as a fruit jar is the wax sealer. These jars, which were made in different forms, have a grooved channel around the mouth opening. A tin or pottery lid in the case of some pottery jars was placed on the jar with the side walls of the lid descending into the groove.
It was then sealed with a hot wax that dried much harder than the later paraffin that was used for jelly. Wax seal fruit jars were made by many, many glass companies over the years, probably up until about , and the wax to seal the jars was still being sold as late as Mason received what must be the most famous fruit jar patent known.
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I would post a photo but my photos aren't as good as a description. Those are commercial product jars mayonnaise, pickles, etc.
Most are in quart size, a few are pint size, and a few are half gallon size.
If you have a booth or know of datint that has a booth at an antique mall you could try that. I have an old mason jar that reads "Boyd's". Old jars were not made in the same colors as these reproductions. InHenry Knox mason jar dating Putnam of Bennington, Vermont, invented a new kind of fully free dating sites jar by adopting a bottle stopper patent by Charles de Quillfeldt. There are seams in the threaded part but they don't match up with the side seams. Knox mason jar dating mason jar and fruit jar making really didn't take off until after the war, many Civil War era jars are rare and collectible, some going for thousands of dollars.