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The History of Mason Jars

Living here in the South, we’ve all heard of mason jars. Actually, they’re quite a staple item in one’s home. There are the original Ball mason jars, there’s the new take on mason jars in a variety of colors, and much more. But, where did these mason jars even come from? We’ll delve into that great question here.

Where Did It All Begin?A variety of mason jars.

A mason jar, named after John Landis Mason who first invented and patented it in 1858, is a molded glass jar used in home canning to preserve food. The jar’s mouth has a screw thread on its outer perimeter to accept a metal ring.  At this time, the jar had a one piece lid.  What was so great about this invention at the time? Well, the screw-on cap was made of zinc, which created an airtight seal that kept bacteria and bugs out as hot liquids cooled down. The second reason this was popular was due to the molded transparent glass. You could now see the contents of the jar from the outside. How neat was that?

The Two-Piece Lid Is Created

John Mason’s patent expired in 1879. This left his original design opening to some tinkering. This is where we see the two-piece lid created by Alex Kerr in 1915, which is still in use today.  This two-piece lid creates a vacuum seal. This is ideal for safe canning. But where did the Ball logo come into play? The Ball brothers took initiative and mass-produced Kerr’s idea of the two-piece lid of the mason jar. You see how one idea has evolved many times into what we know today. From 1939 to 1949, over 3 million of these Ball mason jars were grabbed up.

Why Are They So Popular Now?

In the 1960s and 1970s, Americans were trying to retreat from all the processed foods. This gave way for the jars to make a comeback. Once they came back, they were here to stay. Mason jars are hard to chip, they’re durable, don’t hold any odor, and best of all, they’re dishwasher safe! Mason jars can be used for canning for their original purpose, they can be used in many DIY projects, or they can be used for just about any idea you have. What’s not to love about these timeless mason jars?

Whether you’re canning or looking for a chic way to store your goodies, mason jars are right for you. They’re a timeless staple piece here below the Mason-Dixon line. Give us a call at Back-N-The Day to see if we’ve got any mason jars in stock!

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