Since we live in Franklin County Virginia, aka The Moonshine Capital of the World, I have been finding old and new Mason jars and using them here at the Claiborne House B&B.
|This is my souvenir from visiting Muncie Indiana (home to Ball Canning)|
One use I have for them is to hold flowers, yes that's right, the flowers get to drink the Franklin County water. Around here though they are simply called "FRUIT JARS."
A year or so ago I had the pleasure of visiting an innmate of mine, Jane, at her lovely B&B McDowell-Nearing House in Muncie Indiana. Her B&B is adjacent to Ball State University, and just down the road from the Ball Brothers Mansions. Another friend and myself along with Jane even got to visit a glass museum while there, which was a real treat! Why were the glass works so prevalent in Muncie Indiana? NATURAL GAS. We went to visit Jane's cousins who live on a farm and have their own gas well. They told us they can have friends over for a cook-out and pop the top off the gas well and sit around it like a fire ring! I really thought this was something.
So a few months ago I was on the hunt to find the BALL MASON font/typeface to make up some "Franklin County's Finest" t-shirts (which I still have not done btw). Apparently you cannot copy it, so I had to look at another route. They were going to be Tie-Dyed and really funky so everyone would want one! I still want one. It is on the list...
Meanwhile, today Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke (worth a visit btw) tweeted this amazing chart:
|Chart to help you know the date of your ball jars|
More on Ball Mason jars here. You might be interested to see that Ball invented some automation that is now used world-wide.
41 million were made between 1888 and 1961!
You can read some more about this PERFECT MASON, zinc caps, even milk-glass inserts here. Oddly enough I got a kick out of this line:
"Right about 1910, Ball began phasing out the familiar "shoulder seal" type jars (the cap screws right down onto the shoulder) and went to a new style called a "bead seal". (the cap screwed down onto a bead of glass at the neck)."
If you know anything about moonshine you would have heard the term "BEAD" before.
|One of the many uses for Ball Mason Jars|
As you can see there were many uses for Ball Mason Jars, but one thing I learned while in Muncie with Jane was that of course Ball also made marbles. Of course they did! As a kid marbles were the most beautiful things to many of us, how cool to actually know where they were made. A glass factory, of course! It all makes sense.