?by Janet Garman
This is canning season!? Did you know it is an official season of the year.? Joking of course but this is the time of year where the decorations in my kitchen take on a whole new look.? Towels spread on the counters for jars to sit on after leaving the canner, the canner itself takes up permanent residence on the stove and mason jars are everywhere!? Here are some thoughts I shared last year.? I have edited the post to make it current since some of the links were going nowhere.? What will you be canning this year?
I thought that it would be appropriate to visit the history of the common everyday canning jar as we embark on a week of celebrating the things we put into them.? Also, after canning multiple bushels of tomatoes, I was eager to write about anything that goes into a canning jar EXCEPT tomatoes!??
The original mason jar has been around since? the 18th century.? In 1795 Napoleon Bonaparte offered a reward to anyone who could come up with a reliable way of preserving food for the army.? Fifteen years later, Nicholas Appert was able to perfect a method of heat processing in glass jars.? Early jars used a wax sealing system and wire reinforced lids.??
In 1858 John L Mason invented the mason jar with threads molded into the? top and using a threaded zinc lid with an attached rubber gasket that was invented by Julius Landsberger.? In 1900, Mason sold off his rights to the mason jar to Ball Corporation.??
Another inventor, Kerr, was working on the canning jar system.? He introduced the wide mouth canning jar with the metal lid that held the gasket.? 1915 Kerr introduced the system used today.? This system uses a two piece canning lid, a flat disc with a gasket and a threaded lid.?? The system was duplicated by the Ball Corporation.?
Today, the Ball Corporation no longer manufactures the canning jars.? This enterprise was split off to the Alltrista Corporation and then later renamed Jarden Corporation.
While it is not recommended that we use the vintage jars from the turn of the century for our current canning projects, the jars have become a popular decor item.?? I, for one, love the blue color and the zinc lids.? To me, they are perfect vintage accents to accompany my other vintage farm house kitchen and farm decor.??
I use them to store any number of bits and pieces of my life.? We even put some cracked corn into one because it just looks cool.? Some of my jars came with memorabilia already included in the jar.? One has antique cardboard milk bottle caps.? Another has old thread spools.? On my crafting table I use the jars to store bits of trim, gift tags, and buttons.?? And while collecting, I have learned more about what makes them collectible.? The numbers on the bottom, the way the Ball name is written,? the color, and the type of lid all play into the collectible value of the jar.?
So, even over 150 years later, the early mason jars still have meaning in our lives.? Do you collect the old canning jars.? ?? What do you like to store in? your old mason jars?
|Cinnamon sure smells great when you open the jar!|
sources used for this article: