Ball canning jar dating

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.

Once a common, inexpensive, household item, some old canning jars now come with a healthy price tag.

With plenty of reproductions and just plain fakes on the market, collectors must pay attention to the details to get the best picks.

Although the vessels were made of tin, the cans were lined with a glass container to prevent corrosion.

As the story goes, Frank and Edmund—two of Lucius Styles Ball and Maria Polly Bingham Ball five sons (a sixth, Clinton Harvey, died in infancy)—borrowed 0 from an uncle to buy a kerosene can company in upstate New York in 1880.

Look for jars embossed with the Atlas name in raised lettering.

Take note of any dates or other information on the jars.

The Hazel-Atlas company was in business from 1902 to 1964.

During 1940s and '50s, the company was one of the largest producers of canning jars along with competitors Ball and Kerr. Only a few types of Atlas jars are collectible: the Atlas E-Z Seal, Atlas H over A Mason, and the Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason. Beware of very strong colors which may indicate a reproduction or irradiated glass. The Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason has heavier glass below the jar neck to prevent it from cracking easily.

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