Monday, September 12, 2011

What Do You Know About Aqua Ball Jars?

  Hello friends..welcome back to my empty nest!

So ...you went to a yard sale this weekend and found yourself a pretty aqua Ball Mason jar.
They are all the rage now and becoming quite sought after, but what do you really know about your colorful little glass jar?
What's that you say....NOTHING!!
Well we are going to fix that right now.
First let me show you what I found this weekend...

I hit the jackpot!
I bought these from a glass guy, who as a teenager, would troll his local landfills for glass.
Man, did this guy have GLASS !!!
I bought these for $1.00 a piece....yup, you don't need to get your glasses..you read right..
$1.00
Aren't they just gorgeous???

Love the aged zinc tops with the Ball logo.

Some had very cool glass and wire tops...so nostalgic.
We all love these for their simple design, their functionality and beautiful color.
They can be used in a practical way as in canning.
Or for a completely stylish manner in your home decor.

Image via Pinterest
They look beautiful as vases.
So how about a little Ball jar Primer.
*
Ball started Making glass jars back in 1885 in Buffalo, New York.
After moving to Muncie, IN and opening a new plant, they started making jars from acquired molds.
Most of these were the normal shoulder seal variety, but they also made the 'new Improved' type that used a glass lid and zinc band.
In 1893 Ball began using the Script style BALL lettering on their jars.
sometimes the name was underscored, sometimes not.
Around 1895, Ball started using machines instead of original old blowing techniques.
 A new cursive script began to be used that was not seen on their handmade jars.
Ball jars have a few different hallmarks that help to date them.

This chart will help you date any Ball jars you might have.
I found this very informative.
The group of Ball jars I found this weekend had many of the different logos shown.

This one dates to around 1915...the Mason is now centered. No loop after the double L's and no underscore.

The IDEAL jars date back to 1915's.

Offset Perfect Mason lettering dates this one to around 1913-14. These were not mistakes as many believe, just reworked molds.
Notice now you see the Ball is underscored..again this helps to date it.

The IDEAL Ball jar with the word underscoring 1910-1923.

I love this Better Housekeeping glass top and zinc screw on.

My ATLAS E-Z  Seal jar is what 's called a 'Lightening Jar' because the glass and wire clamp made is super fast to get opened. These were popular because no food ever touched metal.
The Hazel-Atlas Gall Co. manufactured jars from the late 1800's to 1964.

 The white inside the zinc top is milkglass.
It is hard to read, but this is labeled 'GENUINE ZINC CAP FOR BALL MASON JAR'

Example of a Shouldered jar and a No-shoulder jar
My Atlas Mason jar on the right is a very old one dating back to at least 1910!
The glass is paler and all bubbly and more rustic looking.
How great is that???
Sadly Ball discontinued their famous Blue/Aqua color in 1937. The blue glass had been produced since 1890's.
Did you know the blue color came from the minerals in the sand they used in the manufacturing?
The sand came from the shores of Lake Michigan and when a certain amount of oxygen was used, it resulted in the gorgeous Blue/Aqua color we love today.
There is so much more information at this fabulous website:
Thank you Bob!!!
So there you have it...you are so much Ball Jar smarter now.
Now go hunt down some pretty jars..they are out there.
Rumor Killer:
The #13 on the bottom of a Ball Mason jar is not a rare thing...Bob says that is an old wives tale and that they are not worth any more than a jar with a different number.
Don't fall for that story.
Good to know Bob
;->

Until next time...be kind and stay creative.

My SkyeReve Fabric Giveaway is still going strong..so hop over here to get yourself entered to win $50.00 worth of gorgeous fabric of your choice!!

I will be sharing my post with these lovely  blogs this week:


.

65 comments:

Wanda..... said...

Love your jars, Janet! I have the exact same Better Housekeeping lid with Presto glass top and several milk glass tops, though mine are labeled 'GENUINE BOYD's CAP FOR MASON JAR'...all were found here on the property! I still every year for items that appear after the winter thaw and spring rains.

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

I enjoyed reading this post. I have a "thing" for canning jars...not sure why! That is quite a collection you now have. Just love it! I need to start looking and start a collection of my own!

My Kid's Mom said...

Love the canning jars. I have lots of these that I use simply for decoration. Most of mine came from my grandmother's house.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

They're beautiful! Wish I could find just one here in rural Nova Scotia!

Carole @ Blue Chateau Interiors said...

They're all gorgeous. I love to put flowers in mine. Congrats on your great find!

Snappy Di said...

Oh how I wish I had room for a Ball glass jar collection. My great grandmother's maiden name was Ball. Not sure if she was related to the famous Ball glass jar makers though.

Tracey said...

A beautiful blog page! Being a Ball family member and empty nest blogger myself I found it really interesting :) Thank you!

SewSweetStitches said...

I had no idea there were different logos for different years, how interesting!

Annette said...

This is such great info and I can't believe what you paid for those jars!! Now I'm going to go check the logos on my jars!

lettielulu said...

Oh, so interesting!

I have one that holds all my old, old buttons from my Grandmother (born 1868). I don't remember where the jar came from but perhaps it was hers also. Mine has no shoulder and a zinc top with milk glass insert that says, 'Genuine Boyd Cap for Mason Jars'. On the outside it says, 'Mason's Patent Nov 30 1858'. No other writing or numbers on the jar. I'll have to read Bob's website more thoroughly to determine it's age.

I just learn something new every time I read your blog.

Your punch needle teacher!!!

Itchin' Stitchin' said...

I love the aqua ones!! In fact I have some in the kitchen window I love them so much and using your handy dandy little chart I'm going to date them. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

BTW the Better Housekeeping lid and Presto - Never seen that. With all the auctions and flea markets I go to I thought I saw them all.

Lydia said...

These are really pretty. I've never seen aqua bell jars before!

jojo said...

jackpot!! And you didn't have to win the jackpot to buy them...so cool!

Tammy at Tammy Loves Dishes said...

That was quite the score! All those gorgeous jars at $1 each!! Wowzer!

Thanks for sharing the information about these jars and the link. I have quite a few myself and now I can figure out when they were made.

Atelier Conti said...

Great find, Janet! You do have the good luck when it comes to finding beautiful objects at miniscule prices! Bravo...thanks for the tutorial too. I bought a few old ones here in France, but I can't remember if they're actually Balls or not...frankly I can't even remember where I put them! I'm going to check it out.

Kathleen Grace said...

Thank you so much for this information Janet! I have a lot of these jars that my mom gave me. I think she got them from my grandmother. Boxes of zinc lids and glass lids too, but I never knew how to date them! I'll be checking through my stash now!

Tweed Delights said...

Aaaaaagh, I LOVE these jars Janet - have always been a fan of antique glass bottles, etc. They're just beautiful :) Really interesting to know the history behind them too, nice post :D

missing moments said...

I love those jars! Great pics! They remind me of the days as a kid when my grandmother did canning. Nice memories! Great find!

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

That is amazing! You did hit the jackpot. I saw some zinc lidded ones at a barn sale...What are you going to do with them all~you will have to do something special.

Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads said...

Thanks for this very informative post. I don't have any of the blue jars, but I sure do want some. You really got the deal of the century!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Janet ~ thank you for sharing such wonderful information with us!
I love the aqua ball jars so much!

moonsword said...

Love this post...thanks so much for the information!
I found you through The 36th Avenue...cheers!

Life In The Thrifty Lane said...

What a score!!!!

Betsy (BB) said...

I love these! What a great find!Thanks for sharing the tutorial on the glass and lids!

kathleen said...

I found you through???? ha, ha... oh ya, a comment you made on Everything Etsy about blogging. I just picked up some jars at ARC... I love your guide for telling the age. I will have to see what age mine are. They aren't blue, but lovely. I don't think I'll part with them and put some lovely ribbons or thread in them. Great blog... I'll be stalking more. Tell your hubby to back off! Although, he might find some juicy stuff about me! tee, hee!

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

Wow, pretty neat. Thanks for sharing! We've had some oldies but goodies...but I guess they have all sold. Now I'm motivated to find more!

Transformations By Jacqueline said...

I'm so impressed with I learned today on your blog. Thanks very much to show us and thanks to Bob too!
I have two Aqua Ball Jars! I'll share the information with my son and let him find the age! Enjoy your jars they are lovely!

mb said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mb said...

Hi,
We were wondering what the date is for the white milk glass lid you have pictured. We found the same one and were wondering when it was from. Thanks!

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Sally Kelly said...

Your jars are beautiful! I've been collecting them recently, and am thrilled to find out that the company had it's beginnings in Buffalo, New York, since that is where I was born, and spent the first 11 years of my life. Also, I recently found my first piece (of many?) of Buffalo China -- which I learned is linked to the Larkin Soap Company, where both my grandmother and her sister worked! It would seem that I've started some interesting collections linked to my heritage! I'm excited. I've poured over this post today, and am going to bookmark it, because I'm certain that I will come back often! Thank you for the info. I realize that this is an old post, but... Bob's link would not work for me. Is there a way to find his info these days? Thanks so much! ~Sally