The jar[ edit ] A wide-mouth Mason jar filled with pickles In the United States, standard-size Mason jars are made of soda-lime glass and come in two sizes: They are also produced in a variety of volumes, including cup half-pint , pint , quart , and half- gallon. Among the most common U. Jarden Corporation, based in Boca Raton, Florida ,  retains the license to use the Ball and Kerr registered trademarks on home-canning products as a part of its branded consumables business.
Use[ edit ] Mason jar lids and bands. The integral soft rubber ring on the underside of the lid seals onto the rim of the jar during processing. Home canning In home canning, food is packed into the mason 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.
A band is screwed loosely over the lid, allowing air and steam to escape. The jar is heat sterilized in boiling water or steam and the lid is secured. The jar is then allowed to cool to room temperature. The cooling of the contents creates a vacuum in the head space, pulling the lid into tight contact with the jar rim to create a hermetic seal. Once cooled, the band is removed to prevent residual water between the jar threads and the lid from rusting the band.
If the jar seal is properly formed, internal vacuum will keep the lid tightly on the jar. Most metal lids used today are slightly domed to serve as a seal status indicator.
The vacuum in a properly sealed mason jar pulls the lid down to create a concave-shaped dome. An improper or failed seal or microbial growth will cause the dome to pop upward. Among the earliest glass jars used for home canning were wax sealers, named in reference to the sealing wax that was poured into a channel around the lip to secure a tin lid. This process, which was complicated and error-prone, became popular in the late s or early s and was commonly used for sealing fruit jars from the early s until about The wax sealing process was largely the only one available until other sealing methods were developed,  and widely used into the early s.
John Landis Mason , inventor of the Mason jar By far the most popular and longest used form of closure for the glass canning jar was a zinc screw-on cap , the precursor to today's screw-on lids. It usually had a milk-glass liner, but some of the earliest lids may have had transparent glass liners. Since they were made in such quantity and used for such long periods, many of them have survived to the present day. Between and , many other patents were issued for Mason jar improvements and closures.
The court acknowledged that Mason had invented the jar in , but he did not apply for a patent for an improved version of the fruit jar until In the meantime, several others had patented designs and Mason had known these jars were being produced and sold.
The court ruled that Mason's delay in protecting his patent indicated he had abandoned his invention in the intervening years between and and had forfeited his patent.
The court's decision allowed other manufacturers to patent, produce, and sell glass jars for canning. The closure consists of a metal wire arrangement with a lever that applies leverage to a glass lid when pivoted downward against the side of the jar, clamping it down over a separate rubber O ring. While bail-type jars are widely available in the United States, they are generally marketed there exclusively for dry storage and only rarely used for home canning.
Within a short time he sold the patent rights to several individuals, including Henry Putnam and Karl Hutter. The stopper or lid was typically made from metal, porcelain, or ceramic, while a rubber gasket was used to seal the container.
Putnam modified de Quillfeldt's design so that the lid was secured by centering the wire bail between two raised dots or in a groove along the lid's center. Putnam's closure was patented U. The sealing surface on the jar was a "shelf" that supported the lower edge of the lid. A rubber gasket between the shelf and the bottom surface of the lid formed a secure seal when the wire closure was tightened. Although Lightning jars were popular for home canning use from the early s to the early s, they were not as common as screw-thread Mason jars.
These continuous screw-thread jars were designed with a bead between the screw threads and the shoulder as a sealing surface. The Ball Perfect Mason jar, one of the most common jars of this style, was introduced around and produced until the mid-twentieth century. It had several variations, including a square-shaped jar. The jar lid had a rubber or rubber-like sealing surface and was held in place by a separate metal band.
This type of jar and closure, which first became popular in the late s and s, is still in use. A those using a zinc cap and a rubber jar ring, and B those using a glass lid, wire bail, and rubber sealing ring.
These provide "no definitive way to determine if a vacuum seal is formed. This holiday was created by Unboxing the Bizarre. Antique canning jars are often sold through antique stores and auction sites such as eBay.
A jar's age and rarity can be determined by the color, shape, mold and production marks of the glass, and the jar's closure. Mason jars usually have a proprietary brand embossed on the jar. Early jars embossed with "Mason's Patent November 28th " that date from the late s to early s closely match the illustrations of Mason's patents.
Mouth-blown or hand-blown jars embossed with a version of "Mason's Patent November 28th " were made about to and often had a ground lip as well. By semi-automatic machines manufactured the majority of these jars. Machine-made Mason jars that originated around have a sealing surface on a bead ledge below the threads. This type of jar dominated the market by the mid to late s. Manufacturers continued to make jars with the beaded seal after the mid-twentieth century. Most mouth-blown Mason jars embossed with some type of patent date were produced in aqua glass.
The Ball brand of Mason jars were manufactured in several colors, but the most common color was the distinctive "Ball blue," which the Ball Corporation used in its jars from about to Mason jars with this particular color of glass may be attributed to Ball, since "virtually no other bottle or jar was made in that color. Rarer still are cobalt blue, black, and milk-glass jars. Some unscrupulous dealers will irradiate jars to bring out colors not original to the jar.