It was named after American tinsmith John Landis Mason , who patented it in The jar's mouth has a screw thread on its outer perimeter to accept a metal ring or "band". The band, when screwed down, presses a separate stamped steel disc-shaped lid against the jar's rim.
Mason lost his patent for the jars and numerous other companies started manufacturing similar jars. Over the years, the brand name Mason became the genericized trademark for that style of glass home canning jar, and the word "Mason" can be seen on many Ball and Kerr brand jars. The style of jar is occasionally referred to by common brand names such as Ball jar in the eastern US or Kerr jar in the western US even if the individual jar isn't that brand.
French chef Nicolas Appert invented the method of preserving food by enclosing it in sealed containers. Among the earliest glass jars used for home canning were wax sealers, named in reference to the sealing wax that was poured into a channel around the lip to secure a tin lid. This process, though complicated and error-prone, became popular in the late s or early s and was still used to seal fruit jars until about The wax sealing process was largely the only one available until other sealing methods were developed.
In , a Vineland, New Jersey tinsmith named John Landis Mason — invented and patented a screw threaded glass jar or bottle that became known as the Mason jar U. Patent No. The initial form of closure for the glass canning jar was a zinc screw-on cap , the precursor to today's screw-on lids. It usually had a milk-glass liner, but some of the earliest lids may have had transparent glass liners.
His improved design in used the modern design. The jar lid has a rubber or rubber-like sealing surface and is held in place by a separate metal band. Boyd in Boyd had patented a white "milk-glass" insert for the zinc screw lids to theoretically lessen the chances that food would be tainted by contact with the metal lid.
The court acknowledged that Mason had invented the jar in , but he did not apply for a patent for an improved version of the fruit jar until In the meantime, several others had patented designs and Mason had known these jars were being produced and sold. The court ruled that Mason's delay in protecting his patent indicated he had abandoned his invention in the intervening years between and and had forfeited his patent.
The court's decision allowed other manufacturers to patent, produce, and sell glass jars for canning. Variations of the Mason jar include the "Improved Mason" which sealed on a shoulder above the thread instead of below and the Atlas Strong Shoulder which had a reinforced shoulder area as the original design was subject to cracks from the stress at the sealing point. A new type of Mason jar known as a "bead" jar was introduced circa - These continuous screw-thread jars were designed with a bead between the screw threads and the shoulder as a sealing surface.
The Ball Corporation's "Perfect Mason" jar, one of the most common jars of this style, was introduced circa and produced until the midth century. It had several variations, including a square-shaped jar. The Ball Corporation, which once dominated the market as the largest domestic manufacturer of home-canning jars, spun off its home-canning business in Ball Corporation was the largest domestic manufacturer of home canning jars.
A complete Mason jar is composed of a tempered glass jar, a flat self-sealing lid, and a metal band. They come in a variety of sizes, from 4 ounces to a gallon. The half-gallon size and larger are not recommended for canning purposes. The most typical sizes used in canning are quart, pint, and half-pint.
The jars typically have their brand name embossed on the side, though jars may also have a decorative design such as a quilting pattern or may be completely blank and smooth. Jars may be washed and reused so long as they have no chips or cracks. In the illustration, the left half are wide mouth and the right half are regular mouth. The lids and bands are also shown.
The two rightmost jars are quilted. The lids are made of metal with a ring of sealing compound which acts as a gasket against the jar's rim. New sealing compound is only good for about five years from date of manufacture, so older unused lids should be discarded. Lids may not be used more than once. During processing, air is vented from the jar and the food shrinks. While cooling, a vacuum is created inside the jar, sucking the dome downward concave — an indication that a seal is good.
The metal screw bands are used to properly align the lids onto the jar, and to hold the lid in place during processing. They should be removed after processing and may be reused many times as long as they are kept rust-free and undented. The value of a jar is related to its age, rarity, color, and condition. These are pumps supplied by Ozfarmer Australia u.. Add to Wish List Compare this Product. Brand: Farming Supplies. Chow Hound Dog Feeder Holds 5kg.
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Ignore the patent date. This was another patent date that was printed on many mason jars, and that has no bearing on the year of production. In fact, Ball used this patent date on their jars well into the s, so this year cannot be used to accurately date a Ball jar. Ignore the mold number on the jar. Many Ball mason jars have a number printed on the bottom of the jar, but this is a mold number that does not indicate the year of production. Rather, the mold number tells you where the jar was positioned on the glass-making machine that was used to produce it.
It may be worth something, but that will be determined by the size, color, age, and top. Check eBay for jars with descriptions or pictures that match yours and see what they've sold for in the past by searching "Completed Listings". Not Helpful 11 Helpful I have a Mason Jar with the word Perfect mispelled as Perfeot. Is this a fake or reproduction? This is not a reproduction. You will find some jars with errors like that on them.
Not Helpful 15 Helpful Not Helpful 21 Helpful I have a half gallon, ball blue, ideal wire side, with the dropped A. Any value? The dropped a without an underline is quite uncommon. If it has an underline, it is common. Not Helpful 9 Helpful Those gripper ridges were first applied to jars in by Brockway, then Ball.
They help you grip the jar. Not Helpful 16 Helpful 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.
Not Helpful 10 Helpful Most of the square jars were made starting in the 's. More modern made jars are a rounded square shape. Some people collect these because they believe they are scarce. It is a myth that they were destroyed by superstitious moonshiners or housewives. This story was started by retailers trying to inflate the prices.
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 18 Helpful On 13, the bottom of the Ball Perfect Mason jar the 1 is backwards. Is this common? Errors in the molds are common in old jars because of how the molds were created. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit a Tip All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published.
You Might Also Like How to. How to. More References 4. About This Article. Co-authored by:. Co-authors: Updated: March 29, Categories: Featured Articles Collecting. Article Summary X To date an old Ball mason jar, look at the logo on the jar. In other languages Nederlands: Oude Ball Mason potten dateren. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read , times. The Ball ID article was outstanding! More reader stories Hide reader stories.
It enabled me to date bottles back to the Also, it gave me a lead on a jar that just says mason on it. Thank you! Jon Nelson Jun 8, I hadn't even noticed that before reading this article. Share yours! More success stories Hide success stories. Featured Articles How to. Trending Articles How to. New Pages. Watch Articles How to. Categories Hobbies and Crafts Collecting.