Dating kerr canning jars

22 Feb

People who enjoy canning often pick up used jars at garage sales, thrift shops, and flea markets because they are inexpensive.

They never suspect that they may be using a jar that is seventy-five years old.

Soldiers, too, were often left on the battlefields without proper nourishment due to the lack of food-storage solutions.

Indeed, in 1809, Napoleon offered 10,000 francs to anyone that could devise a way to ensure that his soldiers scattered across Europe were supplied with fresh food.

They gave testimony to long hours of labor in a steamy, summer kitchen.

Many of these jars are not only still around but thousands of them, like the ones you see here, are still in use.

Antique Mason jars are nostalgic reminders of times gone by.

For centuries, rural farmers and the poor struggled to find ways to preserve food for the winter.

The Kerr name for home canning supplies is owned by the Jarden company, which also owns the Ball and Bernardin preserving supplies companies (info current as of 2016.) Canning publications appear to no longer be issued under the Kerr name.

Jarden issues them instead under the Ball and Bernardin names.

Nicholas Appert was up to Napoleon’s challenge—though his invention was a far cry from the Mason fruit jar that came later.

Appert devised a means to hermetically seal jars, which are just bottles with wider mouths. Interestingly, the heat killed the bacteria in the food product, but at the time people did not know that bacteria was the cause of spoilage.