More Than You Probably Ever Cared to Know about Ball Jars (a.k.a. Mason Jars)
Most of these jars were regular shoulder seal type jars, but they also made jars with the "Improved" type finish that took a glass lid and zinc band. Well, collectors and enthusiasts most certainly already know that the pale blue coloration is characteristic of vintage jars. What's up with the circular marks on the bottom of the jar? The price of the jar will depend on the size and the condition. What numbers do I look for to estimate value? At this time, Ball also adopted the 2-L style logo, where the decorative loop on the end of the name was dropped.
What do the numbers on the bottom of the ball jar mean? Bob Clay Here is a way to date your Ball jars fairly closely by looking only at how the Ball name is embossed on the jar. Thanks for helping us achieve our mission of helping people learn how to do anything. According to Wikipedia , colored jars were considered better for canning use, as they block some light from reaching the food, which helps to retain flavor and nutritional value longer. You need to have cookies enabled to sign in. The Ball Heritage Collection Pint Jars feature a vintage-inspired blue tint, period-correct logo and anniversary embossment.
Again, the answer is unfortunately, no. These are called mold numbers. They identify the position that the mold in which the jar was made held on the glassmaking machine. Most machines would have from eight to ten molds, all making the same type of jar. The quality control people used the number on the bottom of the jar to identify which mold was producing bad jars. The number has nothing to do with when the jar was made. He taught me everything I know about Ball jars, but not everything he knows.
Check the logos below against the logo on your jar. Date ranges are estimates. Ignore the Mold Number How about that big number on the bottom of many jars? What is the oldest Ball jar you own? Not that there's anything wrong with that: Unlike, say, the Edison bulb, the design of the mason jar has virtually no room for improvement, and its timelessness is certainly part of its appeal—as an object, it is imbued with nostalgia, thrift and if you'll excuse another terrible pun a can-do attitude.
Of course, the canning jar didn't come out of the blue though we'll see that the color has some significance , and its current mass-produced form was refined over the course of several decades in the latter half of the 19th-Century.
The tinsmith's innovation was to create a seal inside the lid, as opposed to attempting to make a lid that was flush with the jar: By grinding the lip of the glass until it was nearly flat known as a 'square shoulder' and inserting a simple rubber gasket inside the lid, Mason achieved a sufficiently airtight seal, and his namesake was born. The Ball Corporation—which also provides funding for the eponymous state university—was among the companies that capitalized on Mason's invention when the patent expired.
Although the vessels were made of tin, the cans were lined with a glass container to prevent corrosion. With the help of two of their brothers, they quickly expanded the glassmaking operation and decided to produce canning jars, for which Mason's patent had expired in When Frank heard about the natural gas boom in Indiana in , they decided to relocate to Muncie the fifth brother, Lucius Lorenzo, was a practicing physician prior to joining his siblings in On February 18, fires were started in the furnace, on February 26, the blowers began to arrive and on March 1, the first products were made.
The first products made in Muncie were coal oil containers and lamp chimneys, not fruit jars. The rest is history: Within three decades, they'd refined their flagship product into the form that is still produced today, and this year marks the centennial of the so-called "Perfect Mason. Introduced in in Muncie, IN, the name "Perfect Mason" acknowledged the first-ever self-manufacture of each part of the Ball jar—ensuring a perfect fit and revolutionizing the home canning process by providing canners with matching jars, lids and bands in a single unit.
The Ball Heritage Collection Pint Jars feature a vintage-inspired blue tint, period-correct logo and anniversary embossment. Here's a sweet manu-vid manufacturing video, for the uninitiated , which Ball has produced on the occasion of the th anniversary:.
The timing is auspicious, as there has been renewed interest in mason jars of late, both for their intended purpose of canning and otherwise. A recent article in Creativity describes a perfect storm of circumstances: The recession fueled a resurgence in home canning and DIY projects while Americans' focus on healthy homemade and artisan foods made with fresh ingredients has been a boon for Ball.
And as a heritage brand, it's riding the throwback trend—when not used for actual canning, the jars often serve as simple centerpieces at outdoor weddings or as glasses at comfort-food restaurants.
Peruse Pinterest and the fandom is evident. There you'll find all manner of ideas of novel ideas for repurposing Ball Jars, including one page dedicated to different uses.
They range from making layered salads in a jar; creating a hanging light; making a DIY air-freshener; and using Ball Jars as a bathroom accessory to hold cotton balls and swabs. I'll spare you the countless DIY tutorials, how-to guides, craft projects, rainy-day activities, etc. In fact, we've recently seen a minimalist Euro version and a hipster-friendly mason jar accessory.
As for the tint? Well, collectors and enthusiasts most certainly already know that the pale blue coloration is characteristic of vintage jars. According to Wikipedia , colored jars were considered better for canning use, as they block some light from reaching the food, which helps to retain flavor and nutritional value longer. More rarely, jars will turn up in amber, and occasionally in darker shades of green.
Rarer still are cobalt blues, blacks, and milk glass jars. Some unscrupulous dealers will irradiate jars to bring out colors not original to the jar.
The best known or at least most SEO-friendly collector is Bruce Wayne yep , proprietor of the online resource balljars. Then again, that page hasn't been updated since and—as the marquee on the homepage broadcasts—he hasn't had Internet access "for some time," "only a Smart Phone [sic]. And as one might expect from a fella who moved to heart of Ball jar country, it's also chock full of canning lore dare I say 'masonic? Well, believe it or not, that wasn't too long ago in actuality.
One of the primary ways of showing another collector what the embossing on a jar actually looked like in those days was through a process called "rubbing. Ray, my wife and I were looking around an Old Homestead from the turn of the century. It was completely decaying and falling apart, but down in the walk-in part of the basement were some old jars. I have collected them for many years, but came across a couple that only had a little stamp on the bottom of the jar that had the word ball in it but nowhere else.
Any clue as to the time frame when these were made?
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About , Ball eliminated the "dropped a" and the underscore altogether and used this style for about 10 more years. No, not at a movie on Saturday night. What year jar should I use to avoid this?
Website's other Areas 1st Recon Battalion. This canning jar is in good used condition - the wire has rust and some corrosion, but the glass is free of any fleabites or chips. It enabled me to date bottles back to the
This indicates a date range between and today. Blue glass Ball jars were produced in ball ideal jar dating late s and early s, but the company stopped producing these in All text shared under a Creative Commons Ball ideal jar dating. These were when youre dating someone with anxiety between and Datiing ranges are estimates. If you find a jar with an error, find a copy of the Redbook a price guide for fruit jar collectors to determine the age and price of the jar based on the error. The Bicentennial issue Ideals will have a 75, 76, or 77 embossed on their base, indicative of the year of manufacture.
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