If you can your own fruits and vegetables, you might be surprised to find that the value of old canning jars is often significant.
If you are using the ones your grandmother left you, that jar of spiced peaches might be worth more than you think.
While Appert’s invention marked progress, it did not help home canners—the process was extremely expensive and difficult.
The only options for them was to use tin cans and solder them shut, or to plug their fruit jars—a term used by bottle maker Thomas Dyott—with corks, a practice that dated to the Colonial Era.
These humble glass pieces were designed for putting up fruits and vegetables in the days before refrigeration.
For centuries, rural farmers and the poor struggled to find ways to preserve food for the winter.
This process was easier and more reliable than the tin lid and wax method.
Although other companies began creating the jars, Mason held the patent, and so the style of jar became known as a Mason jar.
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.
In the beginning, they made wood-jacketed tin cans for products like paint and kerosene, but soon expanded their offerings to glass- and tin-jacketed containers.