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Vintage Mason Jar Find

jar and antique utensils

Karrie SteelyI get a little bit ridiculously excited about simple things. A little while ago I wrote a blog entry about how much I love glass jars. Not long afterward I hit the mother lode of glass jars. It was canning time, and poking around on the old farm for some mason jars seemed like a good idea. I just about fell over backward when I opened the side door of an old stock trailer and came upon a treasure trove of antique jars and lids mixed in with modern jars! The trailer had been loaded up years ago with the intention of hauling it to an auction, but for whatever reason it never left the farm. There were gobs of boxes of mason jars in there.

I found even more canning supplies in the old wash house. These things have been accumulating around here for more than a hundred years, during times that everybody canned their food and nothing was thrown away. My partner was raised by his grandmother, and he remembers her putting up a lot of food in those jars. The oldest ones came from the original homestead, a mile down the road.

stock trailer full o stuff

Fast forward and here I am, like a kid in a candy store, pulling out disintegrating boxes and gingerly exploring the contents. Some of the jars have bubbles and imperfections in the blue and clear glass from the early glass-making processes. Most of the jars are in pristine condition. There are also glass and zinc lids and old pressure cookers.

lids and rings

I’m going to make a special place in our new house to feature some of these cool old jars, and use the newer ones for canning. I found things like a washboard, a butter churn, vintage telephones from different eras, and lots of other stuff in the stock trailer and wash house. Considering how many neat old family heirlooms I’m finding all over the place, I think it’s fitting that the old wash house should become a mini-museum to keep all these things in. I’ve always loved going to old farm estate auctions and flea markets. There is so much stuff to go through here, I’ll probably never feel the need to go to another one again. 

Atlas jars

If you have a collection of old jars or have come across some of these treasures yourself, leave a comment! I'd love to hear about them.

old ball jars

3/1/2016 6:41:57 PM

Hi I also have a bunch of the old jars. Blue and clear. I have marbles from my husbands childhood in some of the blue ones on top my kitchen cupboards. I have a couple 2quart clear ones. Don't find many that size any more. I also have some of my spices in ones with the bale tops. Also used blue ones as decorations for my sons wedding. Wrapped them with burlap and lace. Sunflowers with my peacock feathers for table pieces.

3/1/2016 7:54:45 AM

I love old mason jars too. I have three of the old beautiful turquoise colored jars that were my great grandmothers (well over 100 yrs old). They are in perfect condition, not a chip or crack. I put beautiful sunflower arrangements in them and placed them in my sunroom. I am 65 yrs old and will have these to pass to my daughters.