Lightning fruit jars, another type of Mason jar, were not as common as the screw-thread version, but they were popular for home canning in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They are also produced in a variety of volumes, including cup (half-pint), pint, quart, and half-gallon. Jarden Corporation, based in Boca Raton, Florida, In home canning, food is packed into the jar, leaving some empty "head space" between the level of food and the top of the jar.The lid is placed on top of the jar with the integral rubber seal resting on the rim.While some food preservation is still done in pottery crocks, glass jars largely replaced stoneware starting in the late 1800s.The Mason jar was patented by Landis Mason in 1858 and Ball started producing these jars in 1885.Around the same time as Mason, other countries around the world had their versions, such as Kilner and Norway.In the 1800's there were hundreds of different brands throughout the world selling essentially what we have come to call Mason jars. The most common North American brands are Ball, Kerr, Golden Harvest and Bernardin, all are made in the US & Canada by Jarden.The bands and lids usually come with new jars, but they are also sold separately.
Because competitors produced most Mason jars after his patent expired in 1879, Mason did not become wealthy and he died broke in New York City in 1902.
They offered a more reliable method of preserving foods and were widely used across the country allowing homesteaders and urban populations to flourish.
Although “canning” (the American term for home preserving) decreased in popularity in the mid-1900’s, we are seeing a 21 century resurgence due to economics and desire for better food choices.
This basic kitchen item brings up vivid memories for us of Mom canning in the kitchen. Find out more about the history and collectibility of these common jars.
Jars were used by many a wife and mother to can and preserve food.