Dating antique ball jars

The band, when screwed down, presses a separate stamped tin-plated steel disc-shaped lid against the jar's rim.

The lid is placed on top of the jar with the integral rubber seal resting on the rim.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 term 'mason jar' is, in fact, a generic trademark—à la Xerox, Kleenex, Jell-O et al (fun fact: phillips, as in the screw head, and zipper are also in the mix)—named after John Landis Mason's clever 1858 patent, No. The tinsmith's innovation was to create a seal the lid, as opposed to attempting to make a lid that was flush with the jar: glassmaking techniques of that era allowed for rough threading, but the tolerance wasn't nearly accurate enough to create the airtight seal needed to preserve perishables.Later, the process was “perfected” by Ball in 1913 when his factory was able to produce both the lid and jar to ensure a perfect fit each time.Ball jars were made in various colors, but the blue and clear colors are the most common.Largely supplanted by other products and methods for commercial canning, such as tin cans and plastic containers, glass jars and metal lids are still commonly used in home canning.

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