Age dating ball perfect mason jars
The Lightning jars became popular because the glass lids prevented food contact with metal, the metal clamps were cheap to produce and the lids themselves were much easier to seal and remove.
The name Lightning suggested that the jars were quick and easy to use.
The Lightning jars were made by a number of glass companies in several states including Lyndeboro Glass, Lindboro, NH; Edward H. Interestingly, Putnam was living in San Diego at the time but it is not known if any California company made his jars glass.
Everett of Newark, OH; Hazel Glass of Washington, PA; JP Smith of Pittsburgh, PA; Moore Brothers in Clayton, NJ; Mannington Glass of Mannington, WV; Wellsburgh Glass and Mfg. The Lightning jars come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes and can be a collecting specialty in and of themselves.
Variations of the glass lid and wire-bale scheme of the Lightning jar were produced for home canning into the 1960s.
The earliest advertisements for the Lightning jar date back to the year 1885. Putnam was the man behind the marketing of the Lightning jars and making them popular. Putnam also held exclusive ownership of the patents, and for many years, claimed the impressive profits from selling the jars.
Square jars were considered a design improvement because a homemaker could stack more jars together in less space thus allowing a family to put up more food in their small cellars or cupboards.
Square Jars were made for the Smalley Fruit Jar Co. Other square jars date from the 20s, 30s and later.
It is very difficult to determine the age of a fruit jar without seeing it.These jars freed farm families from having to rely on pickle barrels, root cellars, and smoke houses to get through the winter.For urban families, Mason Jars allowed excess fruits and vegetables to be preserved for use later.These jars carry the familiar embossing "Mason's Patent Nov. This date refers to the original patent date, not the actual date of manufacture.Jars carrying this embossing, often with other monograms, numbers, letters, etc., were widely produced until about 1920. The identities of many actual manufacturers are unknown.