Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company

Ball Bros. Glass Manufacturing Company (1880-1922)

Ball Bros. Company (1922-1969)

Ball Corporation (1969-to date)

Buffalo, New York (1880-1888)

Muncie, Indiana (1888-1998)  

Last glass produced at Muncie was in 1962.

Ball cursive mark - embossing as seen on clear glass "Ball Perfect Mason" jar

Ball cursive mark – embossing as seen on clear glass “Ball Perfect Mason” jar


Ball Bros Manufacturing Company/Ball Bros Company (known as Ball Corporation after 1969), was headquartered in Muncie, Indiana from 1888 to 1998.  Other Ball Bros glass manufacturing locations included Sapulpa, Oklahoma;  Okmulgee, Oklahoma (1927) ; Huntington, West Virginia;  Hillsboro/Schram City, Illinois (former Schram Glass Manufacturing Company plant, purchased in 1925);  Noblesville, Indiana  and Wichita Falls, Texas.

Originally located in Buffalo, New York,  Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company relocated to Muncie, Indiana in 1888 as a result of the natural gas boom of the 1880s.


Ball rapidly increased their glass production after the move, and was soon churning out tremendous numbers of glass fruit jars of all types at their Macedonia Avenue factory located in the south end of Muncie.   A number of separate buildings covered the grounds of the facility at the height of their glass production.   (Incidentally, the main Ball Bros. plant, and business offices were located near the Hemingray Glass Company  plant, prolific maker of glass electrical insulators.  Hemingray’s factory was located virtually across the street, also on Macedonia Avenue.).

Ball was the best-known fruit jar (canning jar) manufacturer in the world, but also made a huge variety of other glass containers for the packaging industry during it’s long history. (See this page on Ball Perfect Mason jars).

Many jars that have been made by Ball over the years might be termed “generic” jars, that is, all types of plain, unlettered glass jars purchased by food and other companies to contain their products to be sold in retail stores.  Many of these generic “packer jars” carried the cursive “Ball” logo on the bottom.

The majority of marked containers carry the name “Ball” embossed in cursive script, although some fruit jars made during certain periods of time also had the name in simple, block letters.

Glass-making ended at the Muncie plant in 1962, but production continued at other Ball factories.  In 1987 as a result of their merger with Indianhead Container Corporation, Ball-InCon Glass Packaging Corporation was formed and the logo “BALL” in script was discontinued on their packer ware.   Ball-InCon (a stylized “B I” logo was used 1987-1994) became Ball Glass Container Corporation in 1994, and the cursive script “B” mark was then used for about a year (see illustrations of  these two marks on page one of the Bottle Marks pages).

In 1995, Ball-Foster Container Corporation was formed, with Ball owning 42% and Saint-Gobain owning 58% of assets (which included Saint-Gobain’s acquisition of Foster-Forbes Glass Company at that time) in the merger.  The mark “BF” was then used, 1995-2000.

Ball Bros Plaque - Muncie, Indiana - picture taken Sept 4, 2011.

Ball Brothers Plaque – Muncie, Indiana (Picture taken Sept 4, 2011)


Ball Brothers plaque, side two- Muncie, Indiana

Ball Bros. plaque, side 2, Muncie, Indiana (9-4-2011)

In 1996 Ball Corporation sold its interest in it’s remaining glass plants to Saint-Gobain and left the glass business altogether to pursue other industries. Most of the former Ball Bros glass plants then became part of Saint-Gobain Container Corporation (subsidiary of Saint-Gobain), later called Verallia .   Their glass containers made in the U.S. (2000 -c. 2014) may be found with the “SG” mark, and afterward (probably with a gradual phasing in c.2014 – c.2016)  of the “upside down omega” or horseshoe-like logo used by Ardagh Group (see that mark in the “U” listings on page 5).    

Verallia North America (VNA) was acquired by Ardagh Group (based in Luxembourg) as of  April 11, 2014, and all of these glass manufacturing facilities are currently (2019) under that banner.  

The Ardagh Group in the United States now (2019) includes  glass container manufacturing plants operating at: Dunkirk, Indiana (operation dating from 1889) ; Port Allegany, Pennsylvania (1900); Sapulpa, Oklahoma (1913); Seattle, Washington (1931); Lincoln, Illinois (1942); Dolton, Illinois (1954); Henderson, North Carolina (1960); Burlington, Wisconsin (1965); Ruston, Louisiana (1968); Madera, California (1970); Wilson, North Carolina (1977) and Pevely, Missouri (1981).   Also included under the Ardagh Group banner are glass plants located at Winchester, Indiana (former Anchor Glass plant, built in 1937) and Bridgeton, New Jersey (former Leone Industries plant acquired in March 2012).  NOTE: The Milford, Massachusetts glass plant (built in 1973, originally a Foster-Forbes factory), specializing in making beer bottles, was closed down in the spring of 2018, and the property was sold later in 2018. Apparently, there are no plans to continue the property as a glass-making facility.  Here is an online article published shortly before the plant was closed:

See my page on the SG mark, with a bit more information on Saint-Gobain Containers, Verallia , and (the current owners of these glass plants) Ardagh Group. 

Ball Corporation headquarters were moved from Muncie to Broomfield, Colorado in 1998.   Ball Corporation is still in existence (2018) but has greatly expanded into involvement in the production of various non-glass packaging products (metal food, beverage, aerosal cans), and a wide range of products connected with the high-tech aerospace industry. Their website is: .

NOTE: New glass fruit jars embossed with the “Ball” cursive logo that are being sold currently (2016-2019)  are made by Ardagh Group (at the former Anchor Glass Container Corporation plant located in Winchester, IN, as well as the Dunkirk, Indiana plant)  for the Jarden Corporation – their Home products division, Daleville, Indiana, (formerly known as the Alltrista Corporation, the name was changed to Jarden in 2002).     Jarden Home Brands (if I understand this correctly) has a licensing agreement with Ball Corporation to use the brand names “Ball” and “Kerr” on their products.  (Bernadin jars are sold in Canada).

(NOTE: Also, please check out the posts by Chris (from 2015 and 2016) in the COMMENTS section below. He gives more detailed info on some of the Ball jars made at the Winchester and Dunkirk facilities.)

The corporate history of Ball Bros. is very complicated and confusing, and admittedly my overview here is somewhat simplistic.    A search of the web should produce more detailed information for the researcher on this glass company and it’s successors.

NOTE:  For a much more detailed article on the Ball Bros Glass Manufacturing Company, please check out this .pdf article written by researcher and archaeologist Bill Lockhart (with input from several others).  He includes extensive information on this company and their history:

Click here to go to my Home Page.

Please click here to return to the Glass Bottle Marks pages (page one).

Click here to go to my page on the Ball Perfect Mason jars, with more info there as well as links to other sites with more detailed information for jar collectors.



56 Responses to Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company

  1. Bob McCullough says:

    I’m looking for a more recent glass product. We purchased a set of juice glasses a few years ago which were marked on the bottom with a logo of opposing “B” s. I assumed this to be a Ball Brothers marking. A couple of theses glasses got broken and we would like to replace them but find them anywhere.
    Bob McCullough

    • David says:

      Bob, I am not sure if I have seen that mark before. I don’t think Ball Brothers used such a mark. Can you email me with a picture of the base mark? My email address is at the bottom lower corner of the webpage. Thanks,

  2. Ronnie McCollum says:

    My Grandmother worked at the plant in Wichita Falls Texas. Must have been in the late 30 or 40s.

  3. Robbie Shoemake says:

    Hi David, I have a mason jar that stands about 19 in. tall Ball underneath is ideal. On the back it has an eagle.
    I broke the lid last night. It possibly holds about 3 gallons. Do you think I could find a lid or have one made? It works great for storing dried beans.
    Thank you

    • David says:

      Hi Robbie,
      Honestly, I’m not sure how easy it would be to find a replacement lid. You might try posting a request/query on the discussion forum in case someone there might have a lid available (or know where to get one). Other ideas…….. perhaps make a post on one of the Facebook fruit jar collectors groups, or even on Craigslist in the “Wanted” category.

    • Garrett Morgan says:

      Hi Robbie. I have this same jar, just missing the wire. Let me know how you make out, and if you wind up with an unwanted wire. From what I recall these jars aren’t very old, maybe reproduction for bicentennial.

  4. Diana Edgmon says:

    Have searched internet. Have a 1 gallon amber jug with Ball logo that I believe is 1933 to 1962. 592-128 and B-6 embossed on bottom. Has a textured glass about 1/3 down below bottom of neck and same textured glass about 1 inch from bottom. Cannot find a match. Can you help identify?

    • David says:

      Diana, without seeing it, I would assume it is one of many glass gallon jugs that were made by quite a few glass companies, including Ball. They typically held liquids such as Coke syrup, vinegar and apple cider. Some were used for other types of liquids such as ammonia, bleach, herbicides, etc.
      I don’t know what those code numbers mean so I can’t narrow down the date range any tighter.
      Best regards,

  5. Greg says:

    I recently found a Ball white clear-ish glass bottle that has Ball in cursive on the bottom along with the numbers “7-12” and “17-H”. I found them alongside some coke bottles from WWII. Along the neck of the bottle is has “not to be refilled” and “no deposit no return”. Not sure if the Ball glass bottles are from that era as well? Thanks!

    • David says:

      I can’t provide a specific date, but from my observations I would guess most bottles with the phrases “NOT TO BE REFILLED” and “NO DEPOSIT NO RETURN” date from the 1960s and 1970s and later. It sounds like a Ball “packer bottle” of some sort, that contained some type of food product purchased retail (such as mustard, ketchup, mayo, applesauce, spaghetti sauce, vinegar, salad oil, etc, etc). Or perhaps a beverage bottle for soda, fruit juice or some other drink. I just don’t know. Ball made lots of other containers besides their regular fruit jars used by home canners. In many of those cases they placed their cursive mark on the bottom. Often the mark is very faint and difficult to read.

  6. elyslanding says:


    I have a blue, Ball Perfect jar that seemingly dates around the mid 1920-30s, and I am wondering if these jars contain lead? It’s been in my family for what seems years. I don’t really know where it came from or how we got it, but I am wondering if it is safe to use for food storage.

    Thank you,
    Alexandra Trefrey

    • David says:

      Hi Alexandra,
      No, the Ball Perfect Mason jars (and other typical fruit jars of the time period) were not made with lead as part of the glass formula. Lead was added to the glass formulas mostly for “upscale”, more expensive ware such as crystal wine glasses, decanters, etc. Lead adds brilliance to the glass, so is the main reason why “crystal” or “flint glass” tends to be shinier and more light-catching. Ball Perfect Mason jars were made from common “bottle glass” or “container glass” which did not include lead in the recipe. (well, to be 100% accurate, it is possible that trace amounts might have been occasionally present from the cullet [broken glass] that was used, but it would be negligible).
      In any case, true Lead glass is generally considered as safe to use for ordinary household use. Check out this article……..
      Take care,

  7. Alexandra says:

    Hello! Do you, or anyone here, know if these jars were ever made with lead? I have a Ball Perfect Mason jar seemingly from the 1920s-30s, according to a site I found that had the different logos of embossed font on the jars. I don’t know how it came to my family or if it’s been in the family that long. I’m wondering if it’s safe to still use or not. Thank you.

    • Chris says:

      Alexandra, Without destroying your jar to analyze the glass using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis, it would be difficult at best to know how much, if any, lead is in the glass. However, to the best of my knowledge, lead is generally not added to soda-lime glass formulas. That being said, container soda-lime glass has always been considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) because the glass is chemically inert. If there was any lead in the glass, it is chemically and physically impossible for it to leach into whatever is in the jar.

      I’d say use it if you want to without any reservations, or keep it as a neat display!

  8. Jay Schueler says:

    Im looking for custom glass jars to be made? Does anyone know where i can get these made

  9. Tee Jay says:

    Wish to know: I water bath canned pickles, garlic and peppers without vinegar or salt. Been stored in fridge for 30+ days. They look great, jars are sealed but no flavor. Can these be re canned with vinegar and still be safe?

  10. Holly Hindin says:

    Does anyone know where I can buy wholesale the 8oz quilted Ball jar …..cheapest I can find per case of 12 is $7.92 per case …..we are producing larger amounts of Jams and Jellies and selling at local markets and events………running around to walmarts and target stores is getting old …….our business is growing and need better pricing

    • David says:

      Holly, I have no connection with the company who now markets glass jars marked “BALL”. However, I might suggest you try contacting the actual distributor of these containers. Have you tried contacting Jarden Home Brands, perhaps by checking for contact info printed on the jar packaging? Or try contacting someone for information at or the actual website run by Jarden.
      Hope this helps,

  11. Chris says:

    I’ll add some additional information since I now work at the Winchester facility. We make 4oz, 8oz, 16oz, 24 oz, 32oz, and 66oz sizes with the Ball, Kerr, Golden Harvest, and Bernardin named “Ball” jars here in Winchester. This includes the plain name-only design, the ‘quilted’ diamond patterns, the 8oz ‘Jelly Pot’ with fruit designs, all in flint glass. We also make the 16oz handled Ball jar mugs. This is in addition to the several designs manufactured in Dunkirk and Henderson. Thanks for all the great info!

  12. Karen says:

    David, Have you ever seen Ball jars w/o labels on the side? I have 2 w/ only the 1933-1960 logo on the bottom w/ other serial numbers.

    • David says:

      Hi Karen,
      Ball Bros Glass Company made large numbers of other containers marked only with their logo on the base – often accompanied by jar style numbers, mold numbers and sometimes other information. Most of those jars and bottles would be classed as “packer ware”, meaning that they were sold empty to various companies (food, beverage, liquor, etc) who then filled them with their own particular products and sold them in retail venues. (As opposed to canning jars/fruit jars that were usually sold empty to the buying public for home canning use).
      Hope this helps!

  13. Chris says:

    Your information about where the Ball jars are manufactured is partially correct. Approximately 4 sizes/variations are produced in the Winchester, Indiana facility, and six sizes/variations are produced at the Dunkirk, Indiana facility. These include the 8oz. round fruit and 8oz. Diamond pattern canning jars, the 250 mL “squat” square canning jar, the 500mL “squat” square canning jar, and two 500ml canning jars (one round and one rounded square). The Dunkirk facility currently only manufactures these containers in flint (clear) glass, and the blue and other colors are made at other facilities.

  14. S McCarty says:

    Minor correction: Ball’s HQ today is in Broomfield, Colo., not Bloomfield.

  15. America the Beautiful says:

    My wife and I recently bought a coffee grinding system with Ball jars used as part of the set. They do not say made in USA like I thought they would. How would I find out which plant makes them? And why do they not proudly display Made in USA on their products? Thank you!

    • David says:

      Many,many Ball jars are not marked “MADE IN USA”. The company / brand name was so well-known, this may have been deemed unnecessary. Also, any markings on glass involves addition mold-work (tooling, engraving on the inside of the mold, which is labor intensive and costs money!) In general, from what I understand, the “MADE IN USA” marking was not required on glass items until after 1919, and then only when the item was slated for export outside the US. Exactly what type of jar are you referring to? Ball made hundreds of slightly different types over a period of many years. Do you believe these jars came with the set originally, or are “all-purpose” type jars used as replacements?

    • Chris says:

      There are series of numbers on the Ball jars which give you lots of information about when and where it was made. If you were to buy fresh stock today, you should see three sets of numbers on the very bottom of the jar. I work in the Winchester, Indiana facility which makes about 50 different styles in several capacities. Anyway, our jar this year will have a 17 at the 9 o’clock position (plant number), a 17 in the three o’clock position (year of the mold), the Ardagh Chalice at noon (company logo), and finally, at 6 o’clock, the individual mold number. Some of the mold designs will have the chalice, plant, and mold number around the heel diameter.

      As far as a comprehensive plant list, this would be very difficult as nearly every merger or sale in the industry results in a change to the plant number. For example, prior to 2012, the Winchester jars would display the AG (Anchor Glass) and plant #3.


  16. Shally says:

    Hi, I have just recently started collecting Ball mason jars. I have 3 jars that I’ve been trying to find some information on but have not had any luck. And I was hoping someone on here could help me. Jar #1 is a clear glass Ball mason jar that is a liquid drink dispenser. The top is glass that is secured to the jar with the wire closure. A rubber gasket sits between the cover & the jar. The front of the jar says “Ball”, and then underneath that it says IDEAL. On the back of the jar it has an eagle in a circle with a star above it’s head.
    Jar #2 is also a clear jar. The cover consists of the typical metal screw on ring, but instead of the typical metal cover, it’s clear glass.
    Jar #3 is blue in color. It says Ball and underneath that it says “Perfect Mason”. But the perfect mason is not perfectly aligned under the word Ball. It’s off to the left side. Of the many Ball jars I’ve seen ALL of them that say Perfect Mason the words are perfectly aligned under Ball.
    My questions about these jars are: Are they rare? (Especially jar #3) How can I tell when they were made? Anything you can tell me about these jars would be a big help. Please send your response to my e-mail, as I may not be able to get back to this page to see your response.
    Thank You for your time

    • David says:

      Shally, have you already checked out my webpage (on this site) on the Ball Perfect Mason jars, and especially the links listed at the bottom of that page, pointing to other sites with more specialized info on Ball jars? There are hundreds of slightly different variants, just of the Ball Perfect Mason. (The “Ideal” was another type of jar made by Ball in very large numbers, with several varieties made over a period of years. The IDEAL was a so-called “Lightning-type closure” jar with a metal wire closure and a glass lid).

      The Ball Perfect Mason with the word “MASON” lettering offset more to the left is somewhat less common than the examples with the lettering centered underneath, but they are still relatively easy to find, and only have a slightly higher “market value”. Two of these variants are classed as Redbook jars #343 and #350-1. Your best bet would be to obtain a copy of the latest ‘Redbook’ of fruit jar values. This book can be obtained online by searching bookseller sites, and a copy (albeit an older version in many cases) might be borrowed at well-stocked, “better” local libraries.

      You can also try searching through online auction sites for Ball jars, just for informational purposes, comparing different types and embossing variations. Type in relevant keywords in the search box on ebay, and look for similar jars. (Although in many cases, the minimum bid, ‘buy it now’ price, or asking price is WILDLY out of line, especially since many sellers have no ideas on the true market value of older jars, and grossly overestimate their value and rarity). Nevertheless, ebay browsing can be a good way to find out what types of older fruit jars are out there to be found, and the variations in lettering, size, color, etc.
      Hope this helps. If any readers can supply additional info, please do.
      Best regards, David

    • Linda says:

      The dispenser jar was made approximately the year 2000. The offset BPM was made 1913-1914. Hard to tell which jar you are referring to with the glass lid.

  17. Isabela says:

    Hello i woul like to know if your could sell from 24 to 27 jars of 24 oz with lid.

    • David says:

      Hi Isabela,
      I am going to presume your request is not meant as “spam”. This is not a “for sale” site. I do not actually sell glass containers. This site is for background informational purposes only. You might try contacting a local-area or regional bottle supplier by searching the site here: However, some bottle suppliers and manufacturers require a minimum quantity (which is some cases may be rather high) in order to accept orders.
      Best regards, David

  18. Veronica Barr says:

    I have a Ball Perfect Mason with the number 14 on the base. Can’t find any information. Are you able to help please. Thank you for your time.

    • David says:

      Hello Veronica,
      Most of the more frequently-seen types of aqua or “Ball Blue” colored Ball Perfect Mason jars carry a number from 0 to 15 on the base. These numbers identified the steel mold (or individual mold component/cavity on an automatic bottle machine assembly) from which the jar was made. (The mold numbers have no relation to any particular year or year code). Many of these BPM jars date from the 1920s and 1930s. Please check out my article on this site with more information relating to the Ball Perfect Mason.
      Hope this helps a bit,

      • Chris says:

        David, we have begun producing the Ball Perfect Mason jars again in flint, in both quart and 8oz sizes. Look for more to come, along with the Sharing and Madison jars in 16 and 28oz sizes.

        • David says:

          Hello Chris,
          Can you elaborate more on the main differences between these new flint (clear) quart Ball Perfect Masons, as compared to earlier ones, say, from the 1930s, ’40s or 1950s? I really appreciate the info you have offered here.
          Best regards,

          • Chris says:

            David, as far as exact differences, I cannot say as I don’t have access to the mold drawings from the old school jars, but I know the intent was to essentially duplicate the originals. There are likely minor differences in the font style as moldmaking tools have evolved, but the overall appearance will be extremely close. The jars have the rounded shoulder that slopes from the body diameter to the normal 70mm finish. The Ball logo is raised .031″ in glass with fairly sharp edges, and “Perfect Mason” is below the Ball logo. At this time, we are only making 8 and 32 oz sizes, but more are likely in the works. There are several (maybe 6-7) new designs which I cannot share details of, but they are pretty neat!

            • David says:

              Chris, thank you very much, and I really appreciate your input. I am guessing that if the new BALL PERFECT MASON carry plant, date and mold codes on the base (arranged in the typical “clock positions” like a lot of other modern bottles) it should be easy to tell them apart from the older clear BPM jars. Of course, the older aqua or Ball Blue jars don’t have such plant/date/mold markings anyway. I was also thinking that the new jars may be somewhat lighter in weight than the older ones(?) Are these jars already being sold at this time? If so, do you know when they were reintroduced to the market?
              Thanks and take care,

              • Chris says:

                David, I haven’t weighed the old jars for reference, but yes, they are likely slightly heavier. These days, most low-impact containers (including the Ball jars) have between 0.6-0.8 oz of glass per fluid ounce capacity. This will get slightly lower as size goes up, as the half gallons are about 0.5oz, simply due to the forming process used which is press and blow. The markings are indeed modern style, and only the Ardagh Chalice and mold number are on the bottom of the new jars.

                As far as retail availability, we started shipping these in July to the distribution channel, but I have not been able to find any with a quick online search. I do know that Newell Brands (the new parent company of Jarden Home Brands, owner of the Ball jar trademarks) has a large social media team and presence, so they may be a good resource to contact.

  19. Janet Sander says:

    Why was colored glass used for canning jars? Mostly, the blue color?
    Thanks, Janet

    • David says:

      Dear Janet, for more background info on why most older canning jars (and bottles and insulators, for that matter) were made in blue or aqua-colored glass, check out my pages on “What is Glass”, “Ball Perfect Mason” and “Glass Insulator Manufacturers”. Basically, “natural” glass (without adding any ingredients to “decolorize” the mixture) will come out in some shade of blue, green, or aqua because of the iron content of the sand. Nearly all sand used in glass manufacture has some amount of trace iron in it. Years ago (especially before the 1920s or so) it was common for alot of the “cheaper” types of glassware, such as bottles, insulators and fruit jars, to be made in the natural color of glass, i.e. without bothering to change or eliminate the blueish or greenish color. As time went on glass factories gradually changed over, so by the late 1930s and 1940s most glass of this type was being made in clear, as customers preferred to see the “true” color of products which could best be seen through glass that was as colorless as possible. Hope this helps and thanks for writing,

  20. Larry E. Munson says:

    Go to THE BALL JAR CCC HOME PAGE FORUM and someone can help you

  21. Judit Broyles says:

    Did they ever produce liquor/Whiskey Bottles?
    I have two with the Ball marks.

    • David says:

      Yes, Ball produced a VERY wide variety of containers, including liquor bottles. Many of their whiskey bottles were produced at their Hillsboro, Illinois plant location, and I assume other plants as well.

  22. Brian Starkman says:

    Hi, David. Are you or anyone else able to tell from which plant(s), and when acl soda pop bottles were made?

    • David says:

      Hi Brian,
      I am not familiar with the plant codes and date codes Ball used on their containers, including soda bottles. To be honest I haven’t searched in-depth for this info, which may or may not already be available somewhere on the web………perhaps someone out there has this information? I am posting your query in hopes that someone can help out in this regard. Thanks alot for writing!

  23. Brad Schroeder says:

    Hi, David. I found your website after searching Ball Bros. I worked at Hillsboro Glass Company in Schram City, IL until 1997 when the plant closed. At that time the plant was owned by a middle-eastern company that had purchased it a year earlier from Hiram Walker. We made whiskey and other liquor bottles. Previous to that it was Ball Bros Glass (until H-W purchased it in the 60’s), Schram Glass, and others.

  24. Denise Williams says:

    I would like a copy of the Ball Blue Book that was published in 1969 edition 28

    • David says:

      Hi Denise,
      I am not a bookseller. However, you can probably find a copy of that edition online merely by searching or Best regards,

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