Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company (“Corporation” after 1927)
Portland, Oregon (1904-1912, offices only)
Los Angeles, CA (1919-1992, offices only)
Kerr did not actually manufacture glass during the earliest period from 1904 to 1909, but had glass made for them (with the Kerr name embossing) by other companies. In 1909 their first glass manufacturing plant opened at Altoona, KS. (Also see “A H K” entry).
Kerr had manufacturing plants located at: Altoona, Kansas; Sand Springs, Oklahoma; Huntington, West Virginia [this plant closed December 7, 1982 – information from Mike Harmon] ; Santa Ana, California; Plainfield, Illinois; Dunkirk, Indiana; Millville, New Jersey [see more information on the Millville location at the Whitall Tatum Company page]; and Waxahachie, Texas.
Kerr is most well known as producers of several kinds of fruit jars used for home canning. (They also produced large quantities of other types of glass containers, especially in later years). Their most famous and important fruit jar in the early years was their “Kerr – Economy” jar, made in large quantities at their plants in Altoona, KS and Sand Springs, OK. Many of the earlier ECONOMY types are marked with the words “KERR GLASS MFG. CO” embossed on the bottom, and in general those jars probably date mostly from around 1904 to circa 1920. Other jars made in later years include their “Self Sealing” Mason, which was made in many different types and sizes including the “wide mouth” varieties. For anyone learning more about the different Kerr jar types and their market values, I would encourage them to consult the value pricing guide used by most advanced fruit jar collectors: the so-called “REDBOOK” of fruit jars.
The Kerr glass plants were bought by Ball Corporation in 1992, (Ball later left the glass container business altogether, and sold the plants to Saint-Gobain Containers, now Verallia).
The rights to the “Kerr” brand name, as used on currently-made fruit jars, was held by the Alltrista Corporation, and jars marked “Kerr” that were being produced [in 2006] were actually made by the Anchor Glass Container Corporation at their Winchester, Indiana factory location. Altrista Corporation is now  known as the Jarden Corporation (Jarden Home Brands).
Modern jars with the “Kerr” brand name embossing are sold (along with “Ball” jars) through Jarden.
Also, see entries on other fruit jars such as the “Ball Perfect Mason“, Wax Sealer style jars, and Patent November 30th 1858 jars, and the pages on the Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation and Hazel-Atlas Glass Company.
This page is under construction, with more information and pictures to be added eventually. Thank you!
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