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If you can your own fruits and vegetables, you might be surprised to find that the value of old canning jars is often significant.
If you are using the ones your grandmother left you, that jar of spiced peaches might be worth more than you think.
The evolution of fruit or canning jars parallels the science of food preservation, which itself was an attempt to address a critical need.
For centuries, rural farmers and the poor struggled to find ways to preserve food for the winter.
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These were manufactured from the end of the 19th century through 1964. At first Kerr used a metal lid with a gasket, but by 1915 he had introduced a way to make these jars reusable.
While Ball jars were the most widely produced fruit jars, they were not the only ones.
In fact, there have been countless fruit jar designs developed in the century and a half since Mason’s innovation.
While Appert’s invention marked progress, it did not help home canners—the process was extremely expensive and difficult.
The only options for them was to use tin cans and solder them shut, or to plug their fruit jars—a term used by bottle maker Thomas Dyott—with corks, a practice that dated to the Colonial Era.
The build up to John Mason’s November 30th, 1858, patent for the Mason jar, which ultimately revolutionized food preservation, began with Robert Arthur in 1855.