Dating kerr jars

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Look for a date of manufacture, job number, plant location and various other information. Phillip Woolgar has been a reporter since 2008 in communities throughout western Canada.

These humble glass pieces were designed for putting up fruits and vegetables in the days before refrigeration.

Kerr self-sealing jars and the Kerr Economy were created in 1903. Kerr also founded the Hermetic Fruit Jar Company in the same year.

Two Online Resources Now you know that you can determine an approximate age from the logo and that the big number on the bottom won’t help—even a “13,” but that’s a story for another day.

To get a little more help in determining the age of your jar, visit the Minnetrista Heritage Collection and do a keyword search on “Ball jar.” Match your jar to one of those listed and check the dates.

That was the date when John Mason received his patent for the threaded screw-type closure, and it appears on many different brands of jars. Check the logos below against the logo on your jar. Ignore the Mold Number How about that big number on the bottom of many jars? The quality control people used the number on the bottom of the jar to identify which mold was producing bad jars.

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The number has nothing to do with when the jar was made.

Many of the earlier ECONOMY types are marked with the words “KERR GLASS MFG.

CO” embossed on the bottom, and in general those jars probably date mostly from around 1904 to circa 1920.

They were first made in Buffalo in 1884 and for several years after. They identify the position that the mold in which the jar was made held on the glassmaking machine.

But, you say, how can the date 1884 be correct, since you have a jar embossed with a patent date of 1858. Most machines would have from eight to ten molds, all making the same type of jar.

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