Mason Jars 101

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know all about my love of mason jars!

This little hobby of mine started about a year ago when I discovered a secret stash of mason jars in my grandma’s basement… bingo.

So, they are kindly “on loan” from my grandma, and I’m trying my best not to chip/crack/break/shatter any of them, especially considering the fact that she and my great-grandma have safely guarded some of these jars since, oh, the early 1900s. No pressure!

Mason jars

In fact, along those lines, I got to wondering just how old some of them really are.

How old are you, little blue jar?

Yes, sometimes I speak to them.

Just kidding!

Thankfully, I’ve learned you can date Ball mason jars based on the logo on the front of the jar. After consulting the handy dandy chart on this site (bottom of the page), I found the jar above was manufactured sometime between 1923-1933.
Kerr mason jar

Mason jar with a clear lid

Here’s another one, a Kerr jar with a mismatched Ball glass lid (oops). Now you might be wondering, why do some jars have zinc lids while others have glass lids? Well, I’ll tell ya! The beauty of the glass lids is that zinc – the material many mason jar lids are made from – doesn’t come into contact with the canned food, giving it a zinc-y flavor.

Anyways, just unscrew the zinc ring…

Clear class lid on a Kerr mason jar

Ball glass lid

And you have the reusable glass lid!

large mason jar

This jar is a little older, since the “Mason’s Improved” patent was issued in 1870 (I suddenly feel as though I’m giving a history report here…) and the jars were manufactured until about 1920.

So this one is extra old. Must be careful not to drop it.

Small blue mason jar

On the other hand, this one has always been one of my favorites because it’s such a pretty bright aqua, but from looking at the logo I can tell it was manufactured sometime between 1975 and now. It’s not really old at all!

I’m sure there are people reading this who know much more about mason jars than I do, so feel free to share any tips or advice on dating mason jars! Or dating in general.

10 thoughts on “Mason Jars 101

  1. Mama

    Thx! for the history lesson. You must have teaching in your blood. šŸ™‚ I was well out of childhood before I ever ate a green bean that didn’t come out of a pretty aqua Mason jar, thanks to Aunt Mary.

  2. Laura

    I’m a huge fan of jars myself! You can do anything with them! I would love to see that 5 foot one…it’s sounds incredible!

  3. Molly

    Love that JG neon one myself. Regret getting rid of lots of them many years back in an attempt to scale back. What was I thinking…

  4. Brett

    Your pics of the Mason jars are well done! I like the deep blue ones best — “How old are you little jar?” is particularly nice.


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