The roots of the Ball Glass Manufacturing Company go back to 1880, when Frank and Edmund Ball of Buffalo, New York, purchased the Wooden Jacket Can Company. Originally the brothers manufactured metal cans wrapped in wood, but when John L. Mason's 1858 patent for a fruit-canning jar expired, the brothers prepared to move into glass. By 1884 the first Ball jars as we think of them today were produced, and in 1888 furnaces were fired at a new plant in Muncie, Indiana.
Between 1888 and 1961, the company made more than 41 million canning jars, which is just one reason why the words “Ball” and “Mason” are virtually synonymous today.
Ball enjoyed a meteoric rise. Four years after releasing its first glass products (they also made chimneys for oil lamps and other items), Ball had more than 1,000 employees. Innovation and acquisition became two necessary tools to its success. In 1897, Ball invented the first semi-automatic glass-making machine, which standardized sizes and made production cheaper and faster. In 1905, Ball invented the automatic feeder, which streamlined production even more. Additionally, Ball bought out numerous competitors over the years.
For a long time, the ubiquity of Ball jars prevented them from being particularly desirable in the eyes of collectors. However, in recent years Ball jars have gained popularity, due in large part to the lack of intact jars. Some collectors try to accumulate as many jars as they can, from pints to quarts to half-gallons, in colors that range from standard clear, aquamarine, and green to less-common amber.
Others try to acquire jars with various types of logos on their fronts. For example, when the first machine-made Ball jars were produced in 1896, the distinctive script on the front boasted "Ball IMPROVED MASON," with an extra loop after the last "l" in Ball that almost looks like a fifth letter. From 1900 to 1914, the script was shortened to "Ball MASON," while from 1910 to 1914, some Ball jars bore the words "BALL PERFECT MASON" in big, block letters.
In 1969 the company changed its name to Ball Corporation as it diversified its product line beyond just glass into everything from aerosol containers to space systems; by 1996 it had sold its storied glass division. As for the Ball brothers, their legacy today extends well beyond fruit preservation. The family has been quite philanthropic, and Ball State University in Muncie is named after them.
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Recent News: Ball Jars
Source: Google News
The Invisible Nightmare in Your FleeceOutside Magazine, July 30th
Every couple of weeks, I clean out the filter and put the contents in a 32-ounce Ball jar,” says the founder of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC), a nonprofit that trains outdoor enthusiasts to collect data for environmental researchers...Read more
Cookbook review: Canning guide covers new groundThe Spokesman Review, July 28th
Released by Jarden Home Brands, maker of Ball brand home canning products – including the iconic Ball jar – the recently released 37th edition features 10 chapters plus three guides and a glossary. A how-to encyclopedia of canning and preserving foods, ...Read more
Could you be a part of aerospace?Julesburg Advocate, July 28th
Would you recognize the "Ball" jar in the kitchen? The one that holds mom's pickles. It is the same makers of the glass jar that is also known as Ball Aerospace. While the interest of NASA and aerospace seemed to fade after man walked on the moon, and...Read more
Wayne Hinshaw: When football physicals were a team effortSalisbury Post, July 27th
She took his quart Ball jar and walked away, saying nothing else. Thinking back about that day, if that nurse had run her test on Strawberry's quart Ball canning jar sample, she could have cleared the entire team in one test, since it was a team effort...Read more
EDIBLE: Carmel Valley Ranch's new Valley Kitchen opens Friday.Monterey County Weekly, July 23rd
Wood's rustic-organic-creative-Cali fare now includes a constantly changing “crouton” ($10) with different rich rillettes served in a Ball jar with olive oil baguette; this week's stars California Kurobuta pork. Other standouts include a peach...Read more
Revised book is on the Ball for canning infoDuluth News Tribune, July 14th
And in case you're wondering, the Ball jar is simply a brand of the oh-so-trendy Mason jar (as is Kerr, also a Jarden brand). The Mason home canning jar was invented and patented in 1858 by Philadelphia tinsmith John Landis Mason. Remarkably, the basic ...Read more
Kids celebrate the 4th with Schaefer's Hobby Shopfox2now.com, July 2nd
Shop associate Heather Hutson emphasized simplicity is the driving force for children who want to make projects over the summer break. She offered finished pieces. She even showed Kim how to make a Ball Jar Candle Holder and a Patriotic Tu-tu...Read more
Patriots Hall of Famer Troy Brown turns 44247Sports, July 2nd
The former Marshall wideout arrived in Foxborough as pick No. 198 overall in 1993, and went on to spent the next 15 years with New England on the way to earning an induction in the Patriots Hall of Fame. Over his tenure with the team, Brown appeared in ...Read more