Tuesday, July 14, 2009

For the love of canning jars

Did you know that the inventor, Mr. John L. Mason, who, at age 26, was a tinsmith in
New York City? Canning jars freed farm families from having to rely on pickle barrels,
root cellars, and smoke houses to get through the winter. For urban families, Mason Jars
allowed excess fruits and vegetables to be preserved for use later.
Value depends on embossing, color and size. Common mason jars could be worth about $6 but some rarer versions could be worth $100 or more to collectors.

Some jars were made in a dark green color to make contents like olives, for instance, more attractive to buyers. However, most olive green jars were made from batches of jars (often at the end of a day) that had impurities in itself. Consequently, these jars were fewer in number and due to their "imperfection" frequently discarded.

Did you know that the "perfect mason" sometimes wouldn't be so "perfect?"

There are seven known spelling errors of perfect known.

Jars in amber, cornflower blue, olive green, etc. are worth more because fewer of them were made and they are in great demand by collectors. The amber jars were made that way as an attempt to keep fruit from turning brown, the color kept out the harmful effect of light rays on the contents of the jar. However, the jars were less popular with homemakers because the contents were more difficult to see.

Aren't these jars really pretty to look at? This would be quite the display on top of my kitchen cupboards.

And here's the jar we found Sunday at Goodwill. It's a display jar that was never intended for canning but was used in stores to display items such a pickles or beef jerky. Made in 1975, these jars are somewhat popular with some fruit jar collectors. It was produced in four colors: clear, aqua, smoky amber and cornflower blue. These jars are worth about $50 each. A smaller version of this jar was still made in the 1990s and might be found in restaurant supply stores

We've all heard of the Kelly Blue Book for cars right?

Did you know there's a red book to look up canning jar prices?


Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for sharing. Yours are pretty. I had some of the real old ones, and my daughter is now the proud owner of them. :-)

Neabear said...

Wow! I learned some stuff about the Mason jars I didn't know! That is the cool thing about blogging. I love that aspect. Learning about things from others.


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