November 2, 2017
When BOB thinks of Thanksgiving, he thinks of the rich history our country holds. He remembers a time of cultural difference that brought two unlikely groups together. As the fall begins to fade and winter rolls in, families and friends gather to give, cherish and make memories.
We also gather to share meals, and food preservation is a concept which was discussed as early as the late 1700s. What began as a reward from the French army, turned into one of the most popular ways to prepare food in the 1800s. Holding strong even today, mason jars have evolved into a household brand.
“The Father of Canning” Emerged in 1806
Nicolas Appert earned his title as “the Father of Canning” through 14 years of trial and error before developing a canning process that worked. Appert was a French cook obsessed with the need to preserve food. Food waste was a huge problem for the French Army during the Napoleonic Wars. A potentially deadly problem led to a hefty prize for whomever could find a successful solution. Similar to present-day water bath canning, Appert found that ‘exterior air’ was one of the main causes of food deterioration. Depending on the type of food Appert was canning, he would place the food in a glass jar, cork them, boil them and seal them with wax to keep bacteria from entering the jar. As promised, Appert was paid 12,000 francs, equivalent to $2,262 US dollars, by Napoleon Bonaparte, a French military leader, which he used to open the first cannery.
Courtesy of: First Glass Canning Concept
John Landis Mason Died a Poor Man
With the food preservation jar Appert invented, the glass jar was corked and sealed with wax. Flaws in the seal often prevented food from being preserved properly, causing foodborne illnesses. John Landis Mason invented and patented the very first mason jar in 1858. Mason’s design was quite different in that it changed the canning process forever. Mason designed a ribbed neck glass jar with a screw-on, air-tight seal. The air-tight seal made all the difference when preserving foods in these jars. The food could be sealed in the jar and heated to prevent any bacteria. For 21 years, Mason held the patent for his invention of the ribbed neck jars. In 1879, Mason’s patent ran out, leaving the market wide open for other manufacturers to begin producing and selling their own version.
Courtesy of: 1858 Mason Jar Patent
The Ball Brothers
Known formerly as the Ball Brothers Company, the five founders consisted of Edmund B., Frank C., George A., Lucius L. and William C. Ball. Edmund and Frank coined the Wooden Jacketed Can Company in 1880 with a $200 loan from their Uncle George and a vision for canning kerosene in tin. The tin cans were holding up for a while until the acid that refined kerosene began to corrode them. The brothers then decided to go with a stronger, more reliable packaging solution – glass. It wasn’t until 1884 that they began producing home-canning jars similar to John Landis Masons’ original jar, which made Ball a household name. In 1888, the brothers moved to Muncie, Indiana from Buffalo, New York, where they could take advantage of the abundance of natural gas reserves vital to the glassmaking process. For more than a decade, Ball grew rapidly, becoming one of the most prolific glass canning jar manufacturers in the U.S.
Courtesy of: Minnetrista Ball Brothers
How Old is My Jar?
Courtesy of: Minnetrista Graphic
Today’s Mason Jars
Used as more than a food preservation vessel, crafting, recipes and decoration are just a few of the ways you can incorporate them into your home. From embossed labeling to creative shapes and colors, mason jars have been successfully marketed for more than a century. Innovative designs mixed with a large imprint on the market ensures that these jars are here to stay. Not only are mason jars reusable, they are 100% infinitely recyclable, making your home environmentally friendly. BOB believes in the best food packaging solutions, which is why he offers two of his own mason jars sold by the pallet!