Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation

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 instead had jars made for them (with the Kerr name embossing) by other glass companies, Illinois-Pacific Glass Company of San Francisco, and Hazel-Atlas Glass Company based in Washington, PA, later Wheeling WV.    In 1909 Kerr’s first glass manufacturing plant opened at Altoona, KS.  (Also see “A H K” entry).

GLASS MANUFACTURING PLANTS

Kerr had glass manufacturing plants located at:  Altoona, Kansas (from 1909-1912);  Sand Springs, Oklahoma (beginning in 1912); Huntington, West Virginia (from 1933; this plant closed December 7, 1982 – information from Mike Harmon); Santa Ana, California (from 1943); Plainfield, Illinois (from 1964); Dunkirk, Indiana (from 1968); Millville, New Jersey (1968- see more information on the Millville location at the Whitall Tatum Company page) and Waxahachie, Texas (from 1968).

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 “RED BOOK” of fruit jars.


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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).  S-G’s North American container division later became known as Verallia North America, which was then sold to Ardagh Group in April 2014.

The rights to the “Kerr” brand name, as used on currently-made fruit jars, was held by the Alltrista Corporation, which later became known as the Jarden Corporation (Jarden Home Brands).

Update, 2018:  Jarden Home Brands (Hearthmark LLC), a subsidiary of NEWELL BRANDS, continues to sell new glass canning jars with the KERR and BALL brand names embossings.  It is my understanding that many, if not most, of these recent jars made FOR Jarden Home Brands are being made at the Winchester, Indiana plant owned now by Ardagh Group, North America. (See Ball Bros Glass CompanyAnchor Hocking Glass Corporation, and Ball Perfect Mason).

Also, see entries on  other fruit jars such as the Wax Sealer style jars,  and Patent November 30th 1858 jars,  and the page on Hazel-Atlas Glass Company.

Click here to go to the Glass Bottle Marks pages (page one).

For more detailed information on Kerr’s Millville, New Jersey glass factory location, (where most of the KERR glass electrical insulators were made), please see my article on Whitall Tatum & Company.

Please click here to go to my Home Page.

99 Responses to Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation

  1. John Stidham Jr says:

    I lost my job at Kerr Glass, Sand Springs Oklahoma after Ball glass bought it. The representatives told people they would be there for a long time. Told people to buy homes, cars etc. When the furnace was worked on the preacher would come and rededicate it and pray for all the workers. I learned that lots of my co-workers have passed. What a great bunch of guys, and one that wasn’t. My article was put in the Tulsa world newspaper on the opinion page. about their closing.

  2. Hello. My ex father-in-law, Harry C. Johnson Sr. began working at the Kerr glass factory sweeping floors in the 1940 or 50s in Oklahoma. He moved to Santa Ana to continue working for this company. He rose to the level of Assistant Vice President before he retired in 1973 or 75 [can’t quite remember]…. the company gave him a special run of canning jars with his name embossed and a smaller jar with his image as well as the molds used for these. They gave him a jar of pennies filled with molasses …. so he would not spend them too quickly 🙂
    Kerr glass allowed my ex father-in-law to give his family a good life. Kerr glass was important to my ex husband, Harry Jr and his late sister, Bobbie. I remember touring the plant in Santa Ana in 1966 or 67. It was amazing. This very day a huge photo hangs over my ex’s desk of Mrs Kerr and all the VIPs from the 70s. There is an insert of Harry Sr’s portrait. For decades we would never buy any jar made by Ball ………… memories ……… my ex is now 82, in very poor health and nearing the end ….. before his sister died in 2007, they visited the site of the then-closed Santa Ana plant that had been such a huge part of their childhoods. ……. it was sad for them to see. [My ex father-in- law died on the plant grounds – he was meeting with a friend and employee to plan a fishing trip when his heart stopped and he perished on the spot………. long ago]

    • David says:

      Hello Martha,
      I really appreciate your posting this info on my site! Very interesting background material. Thank you very much and take care!
      David

      • David says:

        Martha,
        I wanted to add just a bit of info to your post. I found a file listing various glass commemorative fruit jars (made by several companies) posted online, it is an Excel data file, hosted by the fruitjar.org site, and the web address is here (using a URL shortener so this fits better onto the webpage) : https://bit.ly/2H74XoX
        I think most, if not all, of the information was posted by Richard Cole.
        The file on Kerr commemorative jars does list a clear jar produced in 1974, with information embossed on the Kerr Self-Sealing jar which reads: “Harry C. Johnson loyal service Jan 7, 1938 to May 1, 1974”.
        I also realized this jar is listed in the “RED BOOK — the Collector’s Guide to Old Fruit Jars” and is listed as a quart jar, Jar #1388-4. (I am using Red Book # 11, and this listing appears on page 222).
        Hope this helps,
        ~David

  3. Richie Swisher says:

    I have some wide mouth Kerr Economy jars that glow green under a blacklight just like vaseline glass. They’re the old wire bale type with “Kerr Class Mfg Co Chicago ILL” stamped on the bottom.

    • Linda Shelton says:

      I worked at Kerr Glass In Santa Ana Ca from 82 till 89 7 years … It was my first job 😃

      • David says:

        Hi Linda, and thanks for posting!
        ~David

        • phil Sternfeld says:

          Linda, I worked for Kerr also. i started their plant in Wilson, Nc in 1978. I knew several people from Santa Anna. I was the conferee at our plant at wage negotiations. I knew Wanda Logan who was the union president of the local union in Santa Anna. Also the engineering department was based in that plant and a number of those employees did the machine installation in Wilson

  4. Alicia Ober says:

    Does anyone know or have any information about Kerr Glass in Lancaster? My great grandmother worked there and it has really sparked my interest but have not been able to find much. Besides my husband and I went to an antique shop today and I got my first clear glass insulator that is embossed with Armstrong. My dad had a bunch when I was growing up but don’t think we ever had any that had many markings on them. Thanks, Alicia

  5. Patricia S. says:

    Hi David, I’m not asking for a price but I would like to know where to get more info on a Kerr “Self Sealing” jar where the word self is spelled SELE. I’ve seen people post about other misspellings but not that one. Anyone ever heard of this before?

    • David says:

      Patricia,
      Your jar mold error variant is listed as fruit jar #1384 in the “RED BOOK” used by collectors. I am assuming it is not scarce, but definitely not extremely common either. Other mold errors include jars embossed “SELL” (jar #1382) and “SEAF” (jar #1381) instead of the correct “SELF”.

      Best regards,
      David

  6. john donaldson says:

    has the kerr family ever gone by ker before 1900?

  7. Judi says:

    Hi – I’ve read through your site and still am not sure how old my jar is. It has Kerr in script lettering, below that “SelfSealing,” and below that Trade Mark Rec in a balloon and Mason at the bottom. On the bottom of the jar around the edge in raised lettering it says: Kerr Glass Mfg. Co. Sand Springs Okla. In the center it says: PAT AU-31 1915. Does 1920’s-30’s sound right? Also, if I leave it out in the sun will it eventually turn that lovely lilac color? Thanks!

    • David says:

      Hi Judi, I assume the jar dates from sometime in the late 1910s into the 1920s, possibly 1930s. Hard to be sure on the exact dating of some of these jars. I can’t say if it will turn a light amethyst color. Some jars may contain more manganese in the glass batch, others less. The only way to find out is to leave it out in the sun for several months (somewhere in a sheltered, safe place, where it will not be subject to damage or theft) and see what happens.
      David

  8. Peggy Stevens says:

    Hi David, what an informative, entertaining and enjoyable website! One of the best, if not the best website regarding ‘glass’.

    I’m a newbie and looking forward to more questions and answers.

    I have to say, you seem to be a thoughtful and patient (emphasis on patient) person, please keep up the good work!

    • David says:

      Hi Peggy,
      Thank you very much for your kind words! It is much appreciated!
      ~David

      • Laura Mejia says:

        Hello, just a note to say that I worked at Kerr Glass, Plainfield, Il. Inspecting bottles and jars for flaws. That was back in 1970 and 71. We made soda bottles, canning jars and pancake syrup bottles. And although I don’t remember making any insulators there, we did have them on display and we did supply glass for the insulators to be made from. People used to bring in glass bottles, jars etc and get paid for it. More for colors and the least for clear. It would be sent to make insulators. Not sure where they sent it. But the jars and bottles we made could not be made with the recycled glass because the customers had strict requirements regarding the color or shade of their bottles and jars. For insulators, they mixed some of the recycled glass of various shades with no problem.

        • David says:

          Hi Laura!
          Thank you for your post, and I do appreciate your great information! I would say the recycled glass intended for insulators would have been shipped to their Millville, New Jersey location, since it is my understanding that nearly ALL glass insulators made by Kerr were made at the Millville site (the former Whitall Tatum Company factory) except for a few made at the Dunkirk, Indiana plant in 1978. If you haven’t already, check out my webpage on Whitall Tatum Company (later Armstrong, later Kerr). Alot of the insulators marked “KERR” from the early to mid 1970s are in a grayish or very slightly greenish “off-clear” glass, so that would make sense that alot of cullet was used to make them, and Kerr wasn’t able to completely “decolorize” the recycled glass to make the insulators totally clear. Thanks again,
          David

          • phil sternfeld says:

            You are a hundred percent right on the information on where insulators were manufactured at. When I started up the Kerr plant in NC, several of the other employees were from both Dunkirk and Millville and I remember them telling me about them making insulators.

        • phil sternfeld says:

          I also worked for Kerr. In 1978 I left Anchor and went to work at their new plant in Wilson, NC. In 1980 I was a representative at the master contract negotiations and met an individual from Plainfield who was representing their plant. His first name was Clarence and I believe the last name was Parrish.

  9. While cleaning out from under my parents house, I found some Kerr jars that were very different from I have seen!! Some of them the word “Kerr” was Extremely small, and there were a few that were not only small, but the letter “K” was different! The legs on the K did not touch! They left about a 1/8″ gap……. I was able to date a lot of the Ball jars thanks to a chart ~ if it is correct ~ but I haven’t been able to find anything to help me with the others! I found Atlas, some kind of honey jar with a squared pattern all over it, and one Presto quart jar!

    Thank you
    Maryanna I
    Atoka, OK

    • David says:

      Maryanna, I’m sorry but I don’t have detailed info on the many,MANY later Kerr jar variations. Some of them will be found listed in the so-called “RED BOOK” price guide used by antique fruit jar collectors. The Presto was made by Illinois Glass Company (and their successor Owens-Illinois Glass CO). Not sure about your “honey jar” but you can email me a pic of it if you wish….email listed on the bottom right hand corner of this site.
      David

  10. Could you please help me date the Kerr Jars I have and see if they are collectible?

    I have 26 qt size Kerr Mason Jars still in the boxes and some have the instruction manuals. On the sidewalls they say Kerr, Self Sealing, Mason. The bottoms have little circular bubble pattern and dead center it has a number, the numbers vary depending on the jar. Box says #505 12 quarts with Bands & Lids, Kerr Regular mason jars with a green and yellow logo on box, for home canning & freezing. On the neck of the bottle where the threads are it says “74H” on all of them. Is that 1974 and “H” is the manufacturing plant or style of jar?

    Message me on facebook and I can show you pics. I imagine these jars aren’t collectible since they appear to be a later run, just wanted confirmation.Thanks.

    • David says:

      Hi Jeremy,
      The “collectibility” of the jars would be a matter of opinion, but they all sound like relatively recent clear glass jars that are great for canning. Sometimes the original boxes, if in good condition, are considered just as collectible, if not more, as the jars themselves. I believe you do have some jars from the year 1974.
      Best regards,
      David

  11. Lindsay says:

    I have a lavender economy jar but it doesn’t have a date on it anywhere. The “E” in economy is not the same as others I have seen and there are many air bubbles and shape is not perfectly round. Any idea when this could have been produced?

  12. Ruthanne says:

    I found a Kerr jar that is dated 1915 . It’s a self sealing Pat. 8.31 wide mouth. This jar has air bubbles and the bottom has crack marks. The bottom also has a number 7 and 9. Was this jar hand blown?

    • David says:

      Hi Ruthanne, all Kerr “Self Sealing” Kerr jars are machine-made. The 1915 date is a patent date (not the date the jar was made) and was marked on many Kerr jars for a long time after 1915. The jars will have vertical mold seams that extend all the way to the top of the jar. That is true of most (not all, but most) machine-made glass containers.
      By the way, many earlier machine-made containers have bubbles in the glass. The bubbles (in themselves) are NOT an indication of whether a jar is handblown or machine-made. But, in general, as time passed the quality of containers has become better and better, and bubbles and other flaws in more modern utilitarian glass are less common. Hope this helps,
      David

  13. Jennifer M Ondrejka says:

    I’m having trouble dating an old Kerr Mason jar. Right under the big “Kerr”, it says “SELF SEALING” in small capital letters, followed by a balloon saying “TRADE MARK REG” in even smaller caps. It has seams and a smaller lip than the wide mouth jars. I’ve searched many sites and found two photos that appeared to match. One dated it 1915-1919, which can’t be right because of the seams. Another site dated it 1923-1933. There are no markings on the bottom of the jar at all, except a faint circle which might be a valve mark. Can you help me identify this jar?

    • David says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      I think your jar also has the word “MASON” underneath the “TRADEMARK REG”, correct? If so, I think that jar variation would be classified as #1379 in the RED BOOK jar price guide used by collectors. That catalog number covers the half pint, pint, quart and half gallon sizes, in both round and square variants. They are typically in clear glass, but occasionally in a very faint green or yellow tint. I cannot say exactly what years that exact type was made, but the earliest jars with the “SELF SEALING” phrase on them were introduced approximately 1915.
      They were made, in MANY slightly different variations, over several decades, at least until the 1960s if not later. I suspect your variant is from sometime in the 1930s-1960s, but I am not sure, and cannot narrow down that range with certainty. (Perhaps a reader who specializes in Kerr jars can give us a better idea of age on the #1379 variations). Red Book #1379 is found with either an unmarked base or the mark “AHK” (AHK mark dates from after c. 1944, but it is possible other jars with no marking on the bottom could be earlier, thus I write “1930s”). They are very common and listed with a RB value of less than a dollar for clear examples, a bit more for the other shades.

      Btw, there is ALOT of misinformation on the web, including articles that are written by “professional writers” who write on MANY subjects, without really having an understanding of what they are writing about. They scan a few articles on a given subject, get the main ideas in a very superficial, sketchy way, then re-hash what they have read and create their own article, submitting it to websites who may post it as part of their library of “informative” articles. The articles may end up being full of errors, generalities and misinformation. Just such an article I just found on “how to date Kerr jars” which was written by someone who, although well-meaning, doesn’t understand jars or how they are made. I suspect it might have been one of the articles you came across while doing research. As far as Kerr jars are concerned, all these jars will have two vertical mold seams from manufacture, so I’m not sure what you meant by “because of the seams”.

      1915-1919 is a date range quoted by some early researchers (Alice Creswick or Dick Roller) concerning the earlier variants of the Self-Sealing jars, as the patent (patent # 1,152,107) was issued on August 31, 1915 to Alexander H. Kerr for that style of preserving jar. I think the patent was in effect for 4 years.
      Also……… the period “1923-1933” is referring to the style of lettering used on certain BALL jars, (especially BALL PERFECT MASONs) and has nothing at all to do with Kerr.
      I hope this helps a little,
      Take care,
      David

      • Jennifer M Ondrejka says:

        I appreciate your time and knowledge in explaining the jar. You are correct, the word MASON is below the TM panel. There is no AHK on the bottom.

        The reason I mentioned the seams is that I had read (maybe in one of those bogus articles?), that machine-made jars with seams first appeared in 1915. I’ve ordered the Red Book , which should help me narrow down the search.

        Thank you for your help and for the great website!

  14. Vonda Wilson Sheets says:

    David,
    Thank you so much for this informative website. Thanks to what I learn here, my “junkin’ ” family members think I’m an expert on glass mason jars, when all it is, is that I know where to look for information!
    Again, I thank you!
    V

  15. roy simmons says:

    I have a kerr jar that has ” not for home canning use” any idea how it was used or what?

    • David says:

      Roy, I will assume that any jar with that wording (or a similar phrase) was made for decorative use only. It was either sold empty as a drinking mug or a floral vase, or perhaps was sold already filled with dry pasta, beans, colored sand, etc, or contained aromatic wax and was sold as a candle.
      ~David

  16. Pingback: Dating Kerr Mason Jars – My Blog

  17. timothy edwards says:

    I have a one gallon glass jar that has ahk on the bottom with the number 2000-H-3 then a 4

  18. Tony says:

    Hi, what happened to the Kerr glass company during the earthquake in San Francisco.

    • David says:

      Hi Tony,
      Alexander H. Kerr (the owner/president of Kerr Glass) didn’t actually make jars himself at the time of the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, but was having jars made for him by the Illinois-Pacific Glass Company in San Francisco (as well as Hazel-Atlas Glass Company). From information posted on several websites, it appears that the I-P factory itself was miraculously saved from the fire that followed the earthquake, and was not damaged even though the businesses surrounding the area suffered huge losses. Alexander H. Kerr was a devout Christian who believed in paying his tithes no matter what, and believed that God had showed him His mercy and kindness by sparing the factory from destruction.
      Take care,
      David

      • Linda says:

        I just heard the story about how A Kerr was a Christian man and believed God would not let his Jar factory be destroyed. Weeks later when he looked upon the destruction of San Fancisco his factory was still standing and not one jar was broken. Amen

      • Carlene says:

        Just wanted you to know I just heard the story of A. Kerr – a devout Christian who tithed faithfully – on Inspiration Ministries morning show today. I’m glad you posted this truth.

  19. Katie says:

    I have a Kerr regular mouth pint jar that has the phrase “glass top” under the Kerr name and the word Mason underneath. Has anyone come across any of these and know anything about them? I find it very interesting because I’ve never seen anything about them, even if they are fairly recently made.

    • Scott Gulliver says:

      Hello Katie,

      I just came across at least one “Glass Top” jar as I am liquidating my parents home contents. Like you I could find no information on this specific jar (taking just a sample of each style jar). Have you had any success?

      Thanks

    • Dianne says:

      I have the same jar! I have only one, also, and am having difficulty finding information on the jar. I’m cleaning out my great/grandparents’ basement. Lots of treasures and lots of questions!

  20. Vicki Ruggiero says:

    I have ten vintage jelly jar drinking glasses, diamond design. Three say Kerr with numbers and letters on the bottom. One says KERR with SI, 90, and 5 with what looks like a centipede. One says KERR with SI, 91, and 2. The other KERR says DI (?), 93, and 14 with the centipede. Two glasses also have the quilted diamond design that may be Anchor Hocking. One has the mark with 15, 04, and 9. The other one has the mark Anchor mark with 15, 04, and 23. There are also some marks in the middle of the bottom that I can’t make out, maybe a series of dots? The other five glasses are the diamond design, also. They have numbers and letters. One has SG, 93, and 6. One has 93, BF, 20. One has 93, BF, 3. Some have a mark I can’t make out like a spear and numbers 30 and 5. Any help would be appreciated. I live in Kansas and saw that KERR had a plant in Altoona. I have no idea if that’s where these came from.

  21. Flo says:

    Hello David,
    I have an “Economy Trademark” light sun purple jar that was (I think) manufactured very imperfect with a dent in the glass on one side and a severely uneven bottom. The bottom is stamped and hard to read, but I made out: Kerr Glass Mfg Co Landore (and there is a) J (It also has a patent date of 18?3). Has a wide mouth with one lip just over a 1/4″ wide (no screw on lid design). Any idea on age and the Landore significance?

    I will try and locate that book you refer to for the many other jars I acquired, but until then, the poor quality on this one has me wondering!

    Thank you for your time,
    Flo

    • David says:

      Flo, the marking on the bottom is “Portland Ore” although sometimes it is very hard to make out. The patent date is June 9, 1903. Those jars would date from sometime after 1903, up to approximately 1912 or soon thereafter. Jars with manufacturing defects are avidly sought by antique jar collectors, so you have a nice piece!
      David

      • Flo says:

        Thank you David. Yes indeed, it’s SO hard to read because there is a dime sized air bubble where the ORT should be! Even more imperfections to this funky jar. Someone was asleep at the line with this one! Curious if you know what the J relates to?

        • David says:

          Flo, The “J” would probably be a mold letter.
          Many older bottles and jars have bubbles and other flaws in them. This was typical of a lot of earlier utilitarian glass where they were “cranking them out” at the factory as fast as possible. The level of quality control was less stringent, and glass manufacturing methods were less sophisticated than in later years.
          Best regards, David

  22. Ryan says:

    David, I have two Kerr “economy” jars that are dated on the bottom with what appears to be June 1903 on both. The say KERR GLASS MFGCO,SAND SPRINGS OKLA around the perimeter of the bottom and then 9PAT JUNE 9 1903 in the middle on the bottom. The tops of these jars are not threaded but rather have one continuous rib just below the rim. Everything I read is saying that 1904 is the earliest Kerr jars were produced. Just wondering if you knew if those dates were possible and any other info.
    Thanks
    Ryan

    • David says:

      Ryan, the June 9 1903 date is a PATENT date and doesn’t mean a jar was actually made in 1903. Patent dates were marked on items partly as “marketing hype” and for “bragging rights” and in some cases were marked on the jars over a period of many years. In the case of your particular jar, it dates sometime after 1912, as that is the year in which the business office and manufacturing plant was established at Sand Springs, Oklahoma.
      David

  23. Loretta Peters says:

    David, Im trying to date my jar. It says Kerr and Economy on the side. Circling the bottom it says, “Kerr Glass Mfg. Co., Sand Springs Okla” and a number 1. The word “patented” in the center of the bottom. From what years were canning jars made in Sand Springs?? Thank you for any information you have to share.

    • David says:

      Loretta,
      From research it seems the manufacture of glass at the Sand Springs, Oklahoma plant started approximately 1912 and after many decades of production, glassmaking ceased there in 1992 (by then, the former Kerr plant was owned by Ball).
      http://newsok.com/article/2398597
      Your particular jar is only one of many slightly different types made with the “Sand Springs” marking on them. According to “The Fruit Jar Works, Volume 2” (Alice Creswick, 1992, page 71), your particular jar may date between about 1915 and 1919. However, those dates are only approximate, and some “Sand Springs” marked types were probably made by Kerr into the 1940s or 1950s according to Dick Roller in his book on fruit jars.
      David

  24. Katie says:

    I have a sealed box of 1 dozen 1/2 pt Kerr Squat Jelly Glasses, they do not have lids due to the WAR (which one I am not sure). The box has a note: METAL IS NEEDED FOR WAR
    The War Production Board Will Not Permit Metal For Jelly Lids. These Jelly Glasses packed without lids. HELP WIN THE WAR!
    They were boxed at the Sand Springs Oklahoma Plant.. Have any clue on what War that was?

  25. Bryan M. Keller says:

    I have Kerr jars number 22 number 11 number 26 number 15 and number 13…. How would one go about finding out what years these are from and a possible value if any at all?

    • David says:

      Bryan, the numbers are mold numbers and mean nothing as far as age. Most of the relatively recent, common Kerr jars have value as practical jars for canning, but are not worth above and beyond that as “collectible” glassware. My site is not meant to be an appraisal site, so please check values by studying COMPLETED AUCTIONS on ebay.
      David

  26. Jesse Gustafson says:

    Going through a bunch of jars that came with the house when I bought it, most of them seem to be from the mid-70’s, but one of the odd-ball jars I’ve been trying to find information on might be older… Reading other comments, the number in the threads of the jar might indicate 1945? There’s an A, big space, then 45 in the threads. The side says Kerr, Self Sealing without quotes, Trade Mark Rec in a box connected to “Self Sealing” with a line, and WIDE MOUTH MASON in bold print at the bottom. The bottom of the jar itself has a rough pattern, AHK, and only the number 1. Just wondering if this jar came from the first mould, maybe making it worth something? Any ideas anyone?

    • David says:

      Jesse, I can’t say with certainty when the jar was made, but it might be from 1945. The mold number “1” doesn’t mean it was from the “first mold” used. The mold numbers identified molds being used as a series (group) such as numbers 1 through 12, or 1 through 10. All of the molds within a particular set of identical molds (for instance numbered from 1 to 10) were installed on a machine and all of those were producing bottles or jars at the same time during the operation of the machine. There would be no increased value just because a particular jar bears the mold number “1” instead of “6”, or another number for that matter. Hope this makes sense.
      David

  27. Randal Oulton says:

    There might be two other plants not in the above list, Maywood (California) and Wilson (North Carolina):

    “In September 1983, the [Kerr] company sold off four of its glass manufacturing facilities, located at Millville, New Jersey; Maywood, California; Waxahatchie, Texas; and Wilson, North Carolina, to National Can Corp.” Funding Universe. Kerr Group Inc. History. Accessed June 2016 at http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/kerr-group-inc-history/

  28. Albert Patty says:

    Can you tell me about the angel and crown embossing I have seen 3 variations and hoped it might help date the jar.

    • David says:

      Albert, I have no specific info on the “ANGEL & CROWN” graphic design used by Kerr. I can only say that it was used for a long period of time, and there are many very slight variations in the exact “look” of the drawing, since the engraving was done painstakingly (by hand) on the inside of the molds used to make the jars.
      David

  29. Judy Harris says:

    Hello, love the answers given and thought I’d ask a question. I have two Kerr bowls, about 3 1/2 inch in size. On the first the bottom has a boxed number 5, Kerr in a odd shape box and then the number 112 in another box.
    The second bowl has no boxes what so ever on the bottom. only numbers = 27 Kerr 555, but it looks like someone squiggled something like a signature or name or something but it is small.
    Any info you can give me would be valuable.
    Thank you.

    • David says:

      Hi Judy,
      I believe you are describing jelly cups or “jelly glasses” which were made by Kerr for home canning (making homemade jelly and jam). They are sometimes misidentified as custard cups, pudding cups, sherbet bowls or dessert dishes. I cannot tell you exactly how old they are, or how long the general “type’ was manufactured, but I can say from personal memory that we (my parents, to be more exact) bought some of similar type during the 1970s or 1980s. You might try searching ebay with various keywords to find similar jelly glasses on that site. I hope this will be of help.
      ~David

      • Donna Read says:

        Thanks so much David! I, too, have several jelly cups with Kerr 112 on the bottom. I’ve tried to find lids for them but they are a very strange measurement and the wide mouth lids are just a fraction too small. Any suggestions?

        • David says:

          Hi Donna,
          I have heard of other people trying to find lids to fit these cups, and having trouble finding them. I’m not sure what to do, but the only suggestion I can think of “off the top of my head” is this: There is a Facebook discussion group called “Jelly Jammers”, and although the members are primarily collectors of antique jelly jars / glasses, it might be worth a try to join the group and ask if anyone would have some spare older lids that would fit your Kerr jelly cups. Or maybe someone there would have ideas on where to get them.
          ~David

          • Donna Read says:

            Thanks so much David! I’m actually thinking that they used a full lid rather than band and lid. I did manage to find some photos of what they should look like and that’s what it seems to be. If that’s the case, it’s probably not going to be an easy job finding them. People are less likely to keep lids like those. Thanks so much for the Facebook suggestion. I’ll dig around there and see what the consensus is and post it here.

    • Randal Oulton says:

      I have found photos of the Kerr 112 lid here on ebay (link valid as of Sept 2018). https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-KERR-JELLY-GLASS-W-LID-112-2-/152876811104

      The lids were, it appears, tin, one piece lids.

      Another ebay link shows that they also came in red. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Kerr-Glass-Jelly-Jar-Red-Tin-Lid/183278891361

      There’s no way to capture the images here in this wordpress comment box, so I have no way of capturing the images for posterity here in this thread after those ebay links have gone “bad”.

      • David says:

        Hi Randal,
        Thanks for the links. I am assuming the “Kerr 112” style jelly glasses were made for quite some time, since some of them have the “Angel & Crown” graphic embossed on the bottom, but others do not. I actually have a similar jar with a red-painted lid (exactly as shown in the ebay second ebay listing you linked to) and I remember when my mother bought a case of them (12?) in about 1973. I had saved an example of that jar just to keep stuff in, such as buttons. The lid is not a screw-type lid (it just “fits straight down” over the jar with no twisting. I can’t remember if there was another part such as a screw band that went with it to keep it in place(?) The base of this particular jar only has mold number (5) on the base.
        I would guess there were minor variations in the side ribbing and base markings over the years. I plan to eventually insert a picture of this jar and lid on my Kerr page, so it can serve as a representative picture that won’t be “lost”.
        Thanks for your post!
        David

  30. Tim newsom says:

    I have a mason jar that has ahk 24 505 on the bottom of it. On the neck of the jar it says s6 47 and is similar to one i found that had ahk 31 505 on the bottom and s8 47 onthe neck which was made in between 1915_1920. So the one i have was it made before?

    • David says:

      Hi Tim,
      I have the “AHK” mark listed on “Page One” of the Glass Manufacturers Marks pages Here. The “AHK” mark was used by Kerr beginning in 1944, and was used mostly, if not entirely, on “packer jars” and product jars (meaning, they were sold to companies who used them to package their products and sold them at retail) instead of fruit jars or canning jars sold empty for home use. Alot of the AHK jars were saved by consumers and re-used for canning or storing.
      “AHK” is also seen on the bottom of lots of other types of glass bottles and jars. The other numbers you see on the bottom are mold numbers, or bottle design, inventory or style numbers, and perhaps plant codes, and I don’t know the exact interpretation of the numbers you describe. However, we can be sure the “A H K” mark dates any jar to sometime between 1944 and 1992. Best regards,
      David

    • Mangoe says:

      I have found that the 47 on the neck (or 58 or 65 or 72 or 83…) appears to be the year.

  31. Erika Carasella says:

    Hey there! I have over 30 jars that I acquired from a hoarders house we remodeled and am trying to date them..I have a Kerr jar that says Chicago, Ill. on the bottom but am not able to find any info on the Chicago plant..any ideas on the era of this jar? Thank you!

    • David says:

      Hi Erika,
      According to information published in “The Fruit Jar Works, Volume II” by Alice Creswick (1987), on page 159, Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company had business offices in Chicago (but not an actual glass plant located there, only offices) in the “circa 1912-1915” time period. Not sure how or where she got her info, but the time period is only approximate, and since jar molds were used sometimes for several years before wearing out and being replaced, I would guess your jar dates from sometime in the 1912-1920 timeframe.
      Hope this helps,
      David

  32. David says:

    I have a small Kerr mason the numbers, on the bottom, 22 centered and 501 below? In the center it has Kerr and underneath that, underlined and in quotations Self Sealing. Underneath that it says Mason. The lid says Kerr. Thank you.

  33. R. Walker says:

    The 2 digit number was a mold number and the larger number if one is present was a style number.

  34. Debbie says:

    I have some purple Kerr jars and on the bottom it says Portland, Ore. Does this mean these jars were made in Portland? What can you tell me about their age?

    • David says:

      Hi Debbie,
      The Portland location was where Kerr business offices were located from 1904 to 1912. (Information from page 159 of “The Fruit Jar Works, Volume II” by Alice Creswick, 1987). Although some jars are base-marked with that city name, they were actually made at other locations, which are listed in my text on this page. The jars with the Portland embossing presumably were made sometime between 1904 and 1912. Also, your jars were originally clear when made, and depending on the shade of color, they are either “sun-purpled” (a pale lavender/purple color from being exposed to sunlight, called SCA — sun-colored-amethyst) or, if a very dark purple, they have been artificially “irradiated” or “nuked”.
      Best regards, David

  35. Barbara Plebuch says:

    One hundred years ago on August 31, 1915 the patent was granted for Kerr Wide Mouth Mason Jars and Kerr Mason Jars “self sealing brand”.
    Barbara

  36. Linda Marion says:

    Kerr canning jars have a number on the bottom, what is the highest number on the jars?

  37. dwayne p says:

    Tyro, Ks was the 1st plant, Altoona, Ks was the 2nd plant, they both moved by wagon and set up new plant along the Arkansas River at Sand Springs, Oklahoma. 1 & 2 began making chimmey glass, once arrived in Sand Springs chimmey glass & ” TIG ” only 3,000 made for a local star company was telegraph insultators very short time, thing the plant began glass jars. [ Chimmey Glass is known as Glass Lattens for households , railroad uses } My sources or my family members from working at AHK ssok I have reseach back to 1902 Kansas/ ssok. family photo of all 3 locations ldp

    • David says:

      Dwayne, thanks for your information, which I will post here. I have also found some information from an early reference book “History of Oklahoma”, by Joseph B. Thoburn, published in 1916, which includes a note about the Tyro, Kansas firm which was, as far as I understand, strictly speaking not a Kerr plant, but was started by someone (Charles H. Hubbard) who was *later* involved with the Kerr plants at Altoona, KS and Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

      Quoting: “At the expiration of the period noted above Mr. [Charles H.] Hubbard initiated his association with glass manufacturing by assuming the dual office of secretary and treasurer of the American Lamp Glass Company in the City of Evansville Indiana. After holding this position about two years he removed to Peru, Chautauqua County, Kansas, where he held a like position with the Swartz Glass Company this association continuing about three years. In 1909 Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Joseph C Kelly established a glass factory at Tyro, Kansas and at the same time he became assistant manager of the Kerr Glass Company at Altoona, that state, but still retaining his position as business manager of the factory at Tyro in which he was interested.
      In 1913 Mr. Hubbard came to Oklahoma and in company with his former partner, Mr. Kelly, erected at Sand Springs a glass factory, the same being placed in operation under the firm name of Kelly & Hubbard. Later, Alexander H. Kerr and A. W. Kerr of the Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company became interested in the enterprise and the firm name was changed to Kerr, Hubbard & Kelly. Under the vigorous and well-ordered control of these progressive business men the enterprise has been developed to large and substantial proportions and constitutes a valuable addition to the industrial activities of Oklahoma. In connection with his own interests in the Kelly-Hubbard Glass Company, Mr. Hubbard was also manager for the Alexander H Kerr & Company Glass Factory which was moved from Altoona Kansas to Sand Springs about the same time the Kelly-Hubbard factory was established. The Alexander H. Kerr & Company manufacture the ‘Kerr Economy’ Fruit Jars, also the ‘Kerr Self Sealing Mason Jars’, the only fruit jars in the world that seal without a rubber ring. They also manufacture jelly glasses.”

  38. Arlou Hatt says:

    To whom it may concern in your company; I purchase your canning jars, but I would like to bring to your attention a small problem I have encountered. When I purchase a new box of jars and unscrew the band on the jar, the pressure that has built up inside the jar acts as a propellant and causes the screw band and the flat to explode and shoot across the room. I have not yet been injured by said flying band and flat, but it terrifies me to attempt to unscrew the band. I suppose this pressure in the jar builds as the hot jar coming off the manufacturing belt is immediately capped with the flat and band. I wonder if you can try to find a solution to this problem. Thanks, A. Hatt

    • David says:

      Hi Arlou,
      I believe you are under the mistaken impression that my website is connected with the makers of Kerr jars. Not so. This webpage on Kerr is merely an informational page for collectors of glass, especially antique and vintage glassware. I have NO CONNECTION whatsoever with Jarden Home Brands, which (as of 2012) were the distibutors/sellers of modern fruit jars marked “KERR”. (Please read the text of my article. “Kerr” jars are no longer made by Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company). You should try contacting Jarden with your concerns about the jars. An internet search should bring up their website, or some way to contact them directly. I hope this will help.
      Best regards,
      David

    • Melissa says:

      Putting the bands on the jars when hot would do the opposite of what you describe. Hot air is less dense, so in fact, would create a lower pressure area inside the jar. The lid would be held down, not exploding off of the jar. Were the jars stored somewhere very cold for a while? And then brought into a warm room? Or, another possibility is are you at a high altitude? That would explain what you just described. In both cases, the air inside the jars would be expandingand putting pressure on the lids to match the surounding air pressure.

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