Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Southern Souvenirs: Day 6 - Mason Jars

Mason jars are widely used all over the South, most commonly for pickling or canning. However, the best use I've found for an old-fashioned mason jar is for sipping my favorite ice cold beverage, which happens to be seltzer water and crystal light strawberry drink mix - so delicious! Widemouthed jars have been Southern kitchen staples since the Ball Corporation began producing them in 1884, the company makes 585,000 mason jars each day.

History of the Mason Jar
1858 - John Mason invents the first canning jar with a screw top; his patent expires in 1879, opening the market for competition

1884 - Brothers Frank, Edmund, George, Lucius and William form Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing in New York State and start making mason jars. The company moves to Indiana three years later

1909 - The first Ball Blue Book, a primer on home canning, is published (an updated version can be purchased at

1918 - The Ball brothers bequeath a small college in Muncie to the state of Indiana; the school is later renamed Ball State University

1933 - The Ball Company does not lay off a single employee during the Great Depression

1972 - After 88 years as a family-owned business, Ball goes public

2009 - The Ball mason jar celebrates its 125th anniversary. An exhibit Can It! 125 Years of the Ball Jar, can be viewed through August 23rd at the Minnetrista Cultural Center in Muncie, Indiana
information from Country Living, Vol. 32 No. 5

1 comment:

the southern hostess said...

There is something so comforting about drinking out of a mason jar. I am just loving your souvenir series!