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.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Historic Glass Bottle Identification

Historic Glass Bottle Identification

Bill Lindsey's fantastic bottle identification and information site. Loaded with detailed descriptions and diagrams… [read review or visit site]

Feeding America

Feeding America

This archive of 76 influential American cookbooks from the late 1700s to early 1900s, assembled by the Michigan St… [read review or visit site]

Antique Bottle Collector's Haven

Antique Bottle Collector's Haven

There's a ton of information here, but as with bottles, you have to dig to find the best stuff. Start with the famo… [read review or visit site]

Tupper Diva

Tupper Diva

Kristian McManus’ fresh, airtight collection of Tupperware catalogs and related ephemera from the 1950s and 6… [read review or visit site]

Bottle Cap Index

Bottle Cap Index

Assembled by Gunther Rademacher with the help of several other contributors, this collection of over half a million… [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

Plopsite.de

Norbert Lamping's collection of 600+ ceramic bottle stoppers, Hutter stoppers, swingtops, swivel stoppers, and ligh… [read review or visit site]

Old Spice Collectibles

Old Spice Collectibles

Lather up with Creighton Fricek's complete chronology of collectible Old Spice shaving products. Start with the bot… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Collectable Blue Half Pint Ball Perfect Mason Jar Logo #5 With Zinc Lid Quart Olive Amber Ball Perfect Mason JarScarce Ball Brothers Style Midget Size Zinc Canning Fruit Jar BandRare 1 Qt. " The Ball Mason's Patent Nov. 30th 1858 " Shoulder Seal Canning Jar,Vintage Old Ball Square Mason Pint Canning Fruit Jar With Ball Zinc LidLight Apple Green Ball Bros. Glass Mfg Co Buffalo N. Y. Canning Fruit Jar LidAqua Quart Ball (script) Mason’s N Patent Nov 30th 1858 Fruit Jar, Canning Jar!Rare Aqua Ball Mason Fruit Jar Block Lettering LettersLucky #13 Blue Ball Perfect Mason 1/2 Half Gallon Canning Jar With #13 Zinc LidVintage 1923~1933 Ball Perfect Mason Half~pint Clear Canning Jar ~ Ball Zinc CapExcellent Ball Perfect Mason Fruit Jar Pint With Nice Big # 13 Base Mold NumberOriginal Vintage Ball Perfect Mason #10 Half Pint Clear Glass Jar Zinc Ball LidLight Green Ball Perfect Mason Jar - Words Perfect & Mason Off-set - Mold # 5Clear Qt Ball Improved Mason Fruit Jar - Antique CanningBall Perfect Mason Fruit Jar **blue Square Qt** - 1923 - 33 - Rb #277-5Lucky #13 Blue Ball Perfect Mason Quart Canning Jar With Zinc Lid2 Old Ball Perfect Mason Miniature Glass Jar Salt & Pepper Shakers 1 W/ Zinc LidVintage Mason Ball Jar Golden Harvest Clear Glass Pitcher 48 Oz+ Vg+Vintage Lot Of 38 Glass Canning Jar Lids/inserts Ball-presto-atlas-kerr-harvestRare 120 - 123 Year Old Ball Mason Patent 1858 Quart Aqua Color Jar 1893 To 1896Art Deco Vtg Ball Perfume Bottles & Jar, Floral Cut Crystal Dresser SetBall Fruit Canning Jar Lucky 13Vintage Lot Of80 Mason Jar Zinc & Porcelain Lids Ball Atlas , PestoAntique Blue Green Ball Canning Jar..zinc & Porcelain Lid Approx 6" Pat 1858Vintage #13 Blue Ball Perfect Mason Jar Zinc Cap Lid Lucky Unlucky Nos HtfVintage Ball Ideal 1/2 Gallon Clear Round Jar With Glass Lid And Wire BailLot Of 18 Vintage Zinc & Porcelain Ball & Atlas Canning Jar LidsLot Of 6 Old Zinc Canning Jar Lids Fits Blue Ball & Atlas MasonCollectible Ball Perfect Mason Blue Ribbed Pint Fruit Jar W Zinc Lid 1923-1933Silicone Jar Name Brand!! Authentic & Quality Dab Wizard W@x Ball Jars!! Vintage Dropped A 1910-1923 Aqua Blue Ball Perfect Mason Jar #3 Underlined ZincScarce 2 Gallon Ball Ideal Eagle Wire Bail Glass Canning Jar 16" TallBall Perfect Mason Fruit Jar - **green** Quart C. 1913 - 1922 Rbook# 272Vintage Blue Ball Mason Jar 1 Quart Lot Of 5 Jars W/zinc Lids Great ConditionVintage 1 Pint Green Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason Glass Canning Jar Ball Zinc Lid2002 Red Wing Collectors Society Commemorative Snap Top Tomato Ball Jar W PaperMini Ball Jar Salt And Pepper ShakersLot 8 Vintage Zinc Porcelain Lined Canning Mason Jar Lids Ball & Atlas Boyds CapBall "perfect Mason" Jar With Error, #2 On Bottom, Antique Dealer Liquidation Vintage Blue Ball Glass Canning Jar With Zinc Lid~ball Is Underlined1/2 Gallon 1930s Ball Blue #13 Glass Perfect Mason Fruit Jar Bottle Art DecoVintage Ball Zinc Mason Jar Lids/caps Porcelain Lined, Lot Of 12 With BoxAntique Ball 1/2 Gallon - 2 Quart - Blue Canning Jar With Zinc Lid # ViBall Quart Size (32oz) Mason Canning Drinking Jar/mugVtg Ball Ideal Blue Pint Canning Mason Jar~wire Bail & Glass Lid Mold #612 Vtg. Ball Zinc Caps Mason Jars W/porcelain & 12 Ball Good Luck Jar Rubbers Antique Ball Perfect Mason 1 Qt. Canning Jar, Aqua Blue With Zinc Porcelain LidBall Canning Jar Rubbers VintageBall "perfect Mason" Jar With Error, #1 On Bottom, Antique Dealer LiquidationLot Of 11 Vintage Zinc Porcelain Mason Jar Lids Ball & Atlas Boyds CapVintage Ball Mason Jar Large Blue + Extra Lids And Box Of RubbersVintage Glass Round Apothecary Jar, Cotton Ball Jar, Anchor Hocking. 4" Tall, #4Vintage Ball Canning Jar Lids (2 Glass, 1 Zinc)Ball Perfect Mason Jar, Blue, Quart, Antique Dealer Liquidation

Recent News: Ball Jars

Source: Google News

The Invisible Nightmare in Your Fleece
Outside 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 ground
The 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 effort
Salisbury 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 info
Duluth 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 Shop
fox2now.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 44
247Sports, 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