Dating ball fruit jars


The category of food (aka "culinary") bottles - including fruit/canning jars - is yet another very large group of bottles and jars with a very high degree of diversity of shapes and sizes as shown in the image above (Switzer 1974).As with most of the other major bottle type categories covered on this website, the examples described and illustrated on this Food Bottles & Canning Jars typology page comprise a brief overview and sampling of the variety of food bottles produced during the era covered by this website - the 19th century through the middle of the 20th century.One prominent observer noted that "...bottles made for foods are quite numerous and, in fact, constitute a large portion of bottles made..." (Munsey 1970).This is likely true in regards to the numbers of items produced which if included with the Medicinal, Chemical & Druggist Bottles types would certainly represent a majority of bottles produced since the early 19th century.In general, food bottles have not inspired as much interest from collectors (the source of a large majority of bottle reference books) as other categories.Thus, foods have received a relatively limited amount of research in comparison to the relative commonness of the type.The one significant exception to this statement would be the fruit/canning jar category which has generated significant interest (and references) from collectors (Munsey 1970).



The milestone event in the containerized preservation of food was the development of the hermetically sealed container by the French inventor M.Nicolas Appert who is generally recognized as the father of the canned food industry.His work was prompted by the offering of a reward in 1795 by the French government (12,000 francs) for a viable food preservation process.(This was during the Napoleonic War era and was done, not surprisingly, for military reasons.) Appert's experiments with the application of high heat along with the exclusion of air from a sealed container led directly to the development of a canning process in 1809 (and Appert's award of the prize money) that allowed for the relatively long term storage of animal and vegetable products in sealed containers of various materials (Munsey 1970; Roller 1983; Bender 1986; Jones 1993).