The new PBS show Market Warriors opened last night's Antiquing in Philadelphia episode with a small bit about fruit jars, due to an important Philly connection.
(If the embedded video isn't working, you can watch the entire episode video here on the PBS-MW site.)
Will the Real Mr. Mason Please Stand Up?:John L. Mason was a tinsmith in Philadelphia, and he patented the screw top fruit jar and lid. Hence the jars embossed with "Mason's Patent Nov 30th 1858".
According to Collectors Weekly's intro to their fruit jar section:
"... Crowleytown’s Atlantic Glass Works in Crowleytown, New Jersey, is often credited with producing the first Mason jars, which were embossed with the words “Mason’s Patent Nov. 30th. 1858.” But only a year later, Mason sold that patent and others to The Sheet Metal Screw Company, which was run by Lewis. R. Boyd. Boyd added a milk-glass cover for the zinc lid in order to stop food from contacting the metal. Boyd and Mason later partnered at the Consolidated Fruit Jar Company, which produced countless jars between 1859 and 1910. ..."
Tom Caniff discusses the 1858 jars in this article he wrote for the Antique Trader -- Fruit Jars Preserve the Past
Read more about the original Mr. Mason:
Then there's OUR Mr. Mason!
Read about the fruit jar collecting hobbie's very own "Mr. Mason", Don Burkett, who only collects jars embossed with the word MASON:
- Jeff Klingler's photos and report on his visit to see Don's collection -- http://finbotclub.blogspot.com/2010/12/thats-our-mr-mason-fruit-jar-collector.html
- Bruce Schank has included Don in the Legends of the Jar series -- http://balljars.net/Legends/Don%20Burkett%20bio.pdf
Market Warriors Caught in the Act -- of Antiquing!
And here's a list of 1858 jars that have sold over the last few years on Greg Spurgeon's fruit jar auction website, North American Glass -- be prepared to drool...
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