Dating fruit jars

In 1897, Ball invented the first semi-automatic glass-making machine, which standardized sizes and made production cheaper and faster.

In 1905, Ball invented the automatic feeder, which streamlined production even more.

Additionally, Ball bought out numerous competitors over the years.

For a long time, the ubiquity of Ball jars prevented them from being particularly desirable in the eyes of collectors.

Further use of the internet indicated the company was in business until at least the early 1900s and were selling mincemeat for 6 cents per pound in 1900 ( - on Google Books).

Even though presumably made for and marketed by an East Coast company, SUN jars are found frequently on the West Coast.

This policy applies also to all other foreign orders received.

Another firm which was producing the jars early on was the Consolidated Fruit Jar Company, perhaps making them as early as 1859 or 1860.

Questions remain on exactly which companies made these jars during the early years, since the 1858 patent evidently lasted 13 years (or 20 years, counting a patent reissue), and ostensibly during that time period no one was allowed to produce the jars because of patent infringement issues unless they were granted permission by Mason, or the licensed holder of the patent.

Click Monier's 1895 patent to see such including the patent illustration showing this closure, lid and jar finish.

A close inspection of the label which only notes "H. of the company name (due to label damage) and a check of a food bottle reference (Zumwalt 1980) indicates that this jar was used by the H. which was a pioneer San Francisco wholesale grocer beginning in the 1850s.

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