Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Canning Jar Jubilation!!!

On the morning of Fourth of July, I went to the thrift store to find a little jacket since we would be spending the day in the mountains and I've lost weight that I needed to get one.  I figured since I was there, I should also look for some canning jars since I need to gear up for more canning this summer and you can get a great deal if you can find them.  The thrift store was running a weekend promotion of 50% off most items for the holiday weekend.  LET THE HUNT BEGIN was my attitude!!!  Lo and behold, I found three boxes of various sized canning jars and all three boxes were half-off.  There were 38 jars total.  A quick scan of the jars inside led my eyes to an old blue Ball jar and one with the wire-type canning lid.  I knew my $7.00 would be well worth the cost.  I took them home and didn't touch them until we got back later that night.  Upon opening the boxes, I found canning jar treasure!!!  You will not believe the jars I got and after much research, I am completely amazed at the history that I found!!!  What started me on my old canning jar journey is the four jars I found at our church garage sale.  I paid $15 for all four of them without really knowing how much the value of old jars were and what would be a good price.  I've put them on my windowsill in the kitchen.

Now after finding my treasures in the box, I have found out all kinds of fascinating little facts!  You can date your Ball jars by the writing style on them.  Here is a great website if you're interested at all about figuring out the date of your jars:  here!  It's a great site to give you info on your jars.  So, without further ado, here are some of the jars I found.

These are Ball Ideal jars manufactured in 1908.  They have the wire-type closure and use a glass lid.  The one on the left is the only jar I got with a lid so I am thrilled with it.  It amazes me to think that this glass is over 100 years old and was used for canning during WWI.  Remarkable!!!


 I actually got two blue Ball jars in my boxes.  The one on the left is much older than the one on the right.  Can you see the difference in how Ball is embossed on the glass (see the last L)?  This is how you date the jars.

I got three of these Ball Perfect Masons.  What are so different about these?   It's a bit hard to see in the picture, but these jars are not clear.  They are gray.  They are worth a lot more.  In the manufacturing of these glasses, a chemical was used and once the jars are exposed to sunlight, they change color.  That's why you have blue jars, but you can also find amber, green, and amethyst colored jars.  WHO KNEW??!!  I had no idea! 

These are Kerr jars manufactured in 1915.  Kerr is actually the company who invented the two-piece system for canning lids that we now enjoy today.  I KNOW!!!!  Fascinating!!!

This is a square Atlas mason jar.  It was made in 1920.  Square jars are also worth more!  I didn't know this!  After finding all these great gems in my boxes, I had two more boxes downstairs full of quart jars I had gotten at the thrift store a while back for pickles so I started investigating.  Three of them are Longlife mason jars and are going for $10.00 a piece on ebay.  I also found some vintage quart jars that were made in the 1970's.  Since I was born in the 70's and I'm still working, I'm going to use the jars so they should still work, HA!  I also have a jar that is a Midland Mason jar.  It was only manufactured for one year--1975.  It's worth $8-$10.  I had no idea there were so many different canning jar companies!  It is absolutely mind-blowing that these jars have survived so long!!!  Again, I am inspired by these ladies from our past who diligently put up food from their gardens, not only to survive and have food for their families, but they also supported the war efforts.  By WWII, most canning jars were standard mouth jars (not wide mouth jars) because they were conserving as much metal as they could!  I am amazed!!!

I hope this enlightens you a little about canning jars.  I was trying to get some jars to can with and now I've got my own collection of antique jars.  What should I do with them???  Hmmmm......sounds like another post down the road!

Happy canning and happy treasure hunting!!!

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