MASON’S PATENT NOV 30TH 1858 Fruit Jars – Summary

   “MASON’S PATENT NOV 30TH 1858” ANTIQUE FRUIT JARS –  SUMMARY & OVERVIEW 

 This “MASON’S / PATENT / NOV 30TH / 1858” phrase was originally embossed on countless glass fruit jars (canning jars) ,  most ranging in age from circa 1858 to the mid-1910s.


Note: many reproductions of these jars have been made (from the 1970s all the way up to the present time), which are discussed later in this article. 

WARNING: It has come to my attention that some oddly colored Nov 30th 1858-type jars (shades of red and yellow, probably other colors exist) have recently surfaced for sale on auction sites. They have the base mold number: H385. We can be assured that ALL jars with this mold number are reproductions (modern fakes or ‘fantasy’ jars). They were likely recent imports from Asia !!! If anyone has further info on this type of jar, or knows of other mold numbers that ID fakes, please contact me! [This paragraph added November 26, 2013].

Also……..as of August 4, 2014, unusually colored midget (Consolidated Fruit Jar Company logo) NOV 30TH 1858 jars have been reported with a mold number on the base: H39s (the “9” is backwards and the “S” looks somewhat like a backward “Z”). These are also recently-made imports from Asia. 

NOTE: Other Patent Nov 30th 1858 reproduction jars are reported with a mold number “H430” on the base (thank you Chris!). 


Brief History of the 1858 jars

John Landis Mason was awarded patent #22186, issued on November 30, 1858 by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (actually the patent was termed an “Improvement in screw-neck bottles”),  for his invention concerning the process of creating a threaded screw-type closure on bottles and jars.

Similar screw-threading had been done before on some bottles, but the process of forming the upper lip area of the container (so that it was smooth, even, and sturdy enough for a lid of standard size to be screwed thereon) was difficult and expensive to do properly, often with unsatisfactory results. His improvement revolutionized home canning in the United States.

The very first jars with the Nov 30 1858 patent date embossing are believed to have been made at the “Crowleytown” Glass Works (more accurately the Atlantic Glass Works), located in Washington Township, New Jersey.  There is no absolute proof of that, however.

The “Crowleytown” jars have a more pronounced square shoulder, differing in appearance from the typical later types. For a very good in-depth discussion of the Crowleytown and nearby glass works, check out http://www.antique-bottles.net/forum/m-547192/mpage-1/key-/tm.htm#548932 .

Another firm which was producing the jars early on was the Consolidated Fruit Jar Company, perhaps making them as early as 1859 or 1860. Questions remain on exactly which companies made these jars during the early years, since the 1858 patent evidently lasted 13 years (or 20 years, counting a patent reissue), and ostensibly during that time period no one was allowed to produce the jars because of patent infringement issues unless they were granted permission by Mason, or the licensed holder of the patent.

In any case, throughout the next 60-odd years, production of jars with the Nov. 30, 1858 embossing continued at a high rate, with untold tens of millions (or more) produced. The phrase was soon considered an important marketing device, adding to the perception of quality and reliability of the container to the average consumer,  and, at least by 1879 (21 years after the patent was issued), it is very likely that nearly every glass bottle factory was producing their own version.

The 1880s and 1890s likely saw the peak of popularity of these jars. A considerable percentage have a mold number or letter on the base, a means of identifying the particular mold in use at the factory.
Some examples were quite crudely made, with lots of embedded bubbles, mold irregularities, and a “hammered”, “rippled”, “whittled”, or “washboard” appearance to the surface of the glass. The “whittled” look might be compared to the appearance of heavy rain beating against a glass windowpane, and is caused by the molten glass having been blown into a mold that was not properly pre-heated — that is, the glass had begun to solidify too quickly. Contrary to a popular misconception, these jars were not made in wooden molds, but in metal molds, usually made of cast iron or steel.

Some examples also have identifying initials on the base or reverse, or a monogram on the front or back, which can serve to identify what company made them.   (For instance, jars with the lettering “W.C.D.” on the base are products of the W. C. Depauw Glass Company, located in New Albany, Indiana. The jar pictured here is an example.)

Mason's Patent Nov 30th 1858 jar

 

 

However, vast quantities were produced by well over 100 different glass factories, and many of those have NO identification marks whatsover, or only a mold number, letter, or emblem on the base.  In those cases it is difficult, if not virtually impossible, to positively identify the actual glassmaker.    They are found in a multitude of color shades, with light aqua being the most commonly seen. Many shades of amber, greens, blues, amethyst, clear, and rarely, white milkglass, and blackglass examples are found.  The blackglass units are attributed to the Hemingray Glass Company, well-known for their electrical insulators. 


Jars marked “PAT NOV 26 67” on the base.

Some MASON’S  PATENT NOV 30th 1858-type  jars are marked with a “Maltese Cross” symbol (which indicates the Hero Glass Works / Hero Fruit Jar Company, of Philadelphia, PA) either above or below the word MASON’S.   On most examples, the letters “H”,  “F”,  “J” and “Co” can be faintly seen within  each “arm” of the cross. On others, no letters are visible.  This style with the cross underneath the word MASON’S is listed as jar#1939 in the “RED BOOK” of antique and collectible fruit jars often consulted by collectors.   There are other slightly different variants of that jar (this is just one example)!  Typically, the base of these jars are marked with “PAT NOV 26 67” (Patented November 26, 1867).  Some jars may be blank on the bottom.  In general, any jar with the PAT NOV 26 67 marking on the base can be attributed to the Hero Fruit Jar Company. The “Hero” jars were made over a long time (typically most appear to date from the 1870s to 1890s) and many, many molds were used. There is typically  a 2 or 3-digit mold number in the center of the base. Hero had several other glass companies help fill their orders, (such as Marion Fruit Jar & Bottle Company of  Marion, IN and Cumberland Glass Manufacturing Company of Bridgeton, NJ) for these jars (which were extremely popular), so it is difficult to be 100% sure exactly where any particular HFJCo jar was made, although assumedly the majority were produced at their factory in Philadelphia.


Anyone interested in learning more about the many, many variants of the 1858 patent jars that have been catalogued so far would be served well to obtain a recent copy of the “Red Book” price guide, used by most advanced collectors of fruit jars.

The earlier variants of the 1858 jars typically have a ground lip, (that is, having the appearance of being smoothed off on a grinding wheel, leaving a somewhat rough surface), and later variations made, in general, in 1900-1915 period, are machine-made and have a smooth lip.


Ball Bros. Glass Manufacturing Company made most of the very latest machine-made types.  Many other variations of this basic jar (with changes in the exact raised embossed wording) were made in ensuing years, for example, the “Mason’s Improved” jar.   The “Mason Jar” is now a generic term, meaning any jar used for canning which has a screw-type lid.   A notable successor of this type of jar, the Ball Perfect Mason (with dozens of minor variations in size, shape and color;  please see the “Ball Perfect Mason” page),  would easily become the most popular and commonly produced fruit jar of the 20th century in the US, and is seen in proliferation at antique stores and flea markets around the United States.  


IMPORTANT NOTE: There are many reproductions of the “MASON’S PATENT NOV 30TH 1858” jars in circulation, especially examples produced in the last 30 years or so!!!  These are typically (but not always) made in unusual, bright, garish “striking” colors that are very rare or unknown in the originals, and often they are of a smaller size which tends to be in higher demand.  Beware!  They typically “look new” with a “slickness” to the glass, little or no base wear, and usually have no damage of any kind.   Some of the mold numbers that may be seen on the bottoms which usually indicate a fake jar include: 1171 , 851  and  971.  

Reproduction jars are known in many colors, including ruby red glass, cobalt blue, black glass, bright greens, ambers, purple, olive green, yellow, citron, and other colors.

Anyone seriously interested in collecting the authentic early jars has to be aware that the repros are out there, sometimes “mixed in” with the real ones, at antique shops & malls, general antique shows,  flea markets and even antique fruit jar and bottle shows. They are collected as beautiful pieces of glassware in their own right, but increasingly, many of these are being sold as “authentic antiques”, with or without actual intention to deceive.  Many of these repros have been imported from Asia, especially China, India & Taiwan.   In general (with exceptions!!)  most AQUA examples are authentic, since the color was so typical of old glass, and  is considered “ordinary”,”common” or “unremarkable” by collectors searching for the rare colored jars.

I have seen, however, just recently (2013)  even rather ordinary-looking aqua or greenish-aqua 1858  jars for sale at flea markets that are, in fact, new, and were probably imported from China!   They have a hard-to-define appearance which can best be appreciated by actual handling of the glass. There is usually no base wear at all, no very fine scratches (almost always a few will be evident under close scrutiny on older authentic jars) or even a hint of damage of any kind.  The surface of the glass is smooth and slick with a somewhat lighter-weight construction than authentic older jars.  Some of these jars are now being sold at flea markets or on online auction sites along with spray pump style lids,  sold as lotion or liquid soap dispensers. Others might be sold to use as decorative “rustic” or “retro” canisters, to hold dry pasta or beans, or to use when making homemade candles  or other craft projects.

Please click  here to go to the  Glass Bottle Marks, Page #1.

Please click here for my HOME PAGE.

82 Responses to MASON’S PATENT NOV 30TH 1858 Fruit Jars – Summary

  1. John says:

    Hi David, great site, I’ve referenced it many times. I have a quart size Mason jar with ground lip. On the front it has:

    S
    MASON’S
    PATENT 1858

    D1 is on the bottom. Can you tell me what the S is for? I’ve searched and searched and cannot find the answer. Thank you, John

    • David says:

      John, looking in the Red Book of Fruit Jars, your type is listed as jar #1770. According to the accompanying reference work (The Fruit Jar Works No. 1, p. 127, Alice Creswick, 1995), the maker of that jar is unknown.
      Hope this helps,
      David

  2. Brian Foley says:

    Greetings, I am trying to find some information about my Masons Patent Nov 30th 1858. Between Masons and Patent there are two C’s an F and J. There is a small circle maybe a period lined up with the center of the C’s The base has H86 on it. If anyone has any information I would be grateful.

    • David says:

      Brian, you have one of the many “Consolidated Fruit Jar Company” (New Brunswick, NJ – 1871-circa 1908) NOV 30TH 1858 jars. There are many base mold number/letters known. The jar type is classed as #1920 in the “Red Book” fruit jar guide. You might be able to find more info using keywords on google such as “CFJCO” “jar” and “1920”. The type has been found in a number of colors but the most common jars are in some shade of light aqua.
      David

  3. Robin boles says:

    I have a 1858 patent nov 30 Amber jar with no marks on bottom but on the back , it has a symbol that has 4 sides, picture a four leaf clover except it doesn’t look like a clover. I intend to purchase a reference guide but until then, any help would be appreappreciated

    • David says:

      Hi Robin,
      That’s an example of one of the Hero Fruit Jar Company/Works jars, with the “MALTESE CROSS” marking. Many varieties were made. Sometimes the cross was on the reverse, and sometimes on the front, placed either above or below the word MASON’S. You might try searching the internet with “Hero Fruit Jar Company” and “Maltese Cross” jars.
      David

  4. Michellr says:

    Hi I have a quart “Masons Patent” jar that is bluish green. It does not say 1858 on it just “Masons Patent” it has a shoulder seal and a zinc lid. I’m puzzled because all the similar jars I can find have November 30 1858. Is this jar possibly a reproduction or is there a reason it would just say Mason’s Patent?

    Thank you,
    Michelle

    • David says:

      Michelle, there are several slightly different old jar variants with those words, but not the 1858 date. The variants are highly confusing, but some info might be found by consulting a recent edition of the “RED BOOK”, a price guide used by antique fruit jar collectors. I don’t think you have a reproduction.
      Best regards, David

  5. Kathi Groh says:

    David, I too have A Mason’s Patent Nov 30th 1858 half gallon jar. It is 9″ and has the CFJ embossed on the back. What is odd, is when I look on the bottom, there is a big D. (and backwards numbers) So, When I look down in the bottle, the numbers are readable, 052. I have looked at a lot of resources, and I can’t find what these markings on the bottom mean. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you in advance! Kathi Groh Erie, Pa.

    • David says:

      Kathi, I don’t have any info on your particular jar, but keep in mind that many molds were used over a long period of time, and a variety of numbers and/or letters were used as mold identification. Sometimes the characters might appear backwards.
      David

  6. Bobbie Perdue says:

    I have seen jars that just say mason on them, nothing else. What can you tell me about them?

    • David says:

      There have been several styles of jars with just the word “MASON” on them, made over a long period of time. I cannot give you any more info without seeing a picture of the one you have. Please check the bottom right of any page for my email.
      ~David

  7. jim glanz says:

    have a very large clear mason jar with november 30th 1858 on one side an eagle with three upper stars and four lower stars on the other side and on the bottom looks like a snake kind of hidden any ideas thanks

  8. Karen says:

    I have a clear pint MASON’S PATENT 1858, however, it does NOT have “Nov. 30th”. Is this common? I have only found a few similar images, although they are aqua, not clear. Any input will be greatly appreciated!

    • David says:

      Karen, your jar is a variant that is considered fairly common. It is listed as #1766 in the “Red Book” used by fruit jar collectors. The jars were made by several glass companies including Ball Bros, and date after 1902. They are found in several sizes and in both aqua and clear.
      Hope this helps,
      David

      • Karen says:

        I really do appreciate your taking the time to so graciously offer your knowledge regarding my mason jar. Thank you David.
        Sincerely
        Karen

  9. Jay Priest says:

    I have a 5 gal Mason’s patent Nov. 30th 1858 that is Aqua in color and has scratches on the base and has no numbers on the bottom and I found it buried half way in the ground at an old cabin! The glass as said before is Aqua and very thick with some bubbles and raised flaws on the inside. What do I have? Is it old?

    • David says:

      Jay, it might be a large “institutional size” pickle jar, sometimes used as a display jar in old general stores. I don’t know when it was made, as the general type was made for many years, and newer “repros” have been produced in more recent years, from the 1960s or 1970s and later.
      David

      • Clint says:

        Thanks in Advance for any help i have a blue half gallon jar with lid. It has the Nov 30th 1858 and has the rough mold seams but mine has roman numerals :VII on the bottom… Any help??? Thanks again Clint and Wendi from Dusty Treasures….

        • David says:

          The “MASON’S PATENT NOV 30TH 1858” jars are found with many different mold identifying marks on the base, including letters, numbers, and geometic shapes. I do not know who made your jar. And I don’t think there is any information available that would pinpoint the maker.
          David

  10. Pam Heathcock says:

    I have a bottle like you have pictured but on the bottom of mine it has no lettering. It has 5 dots in a square with the 5th dot in the middle of the 4. Depending on how you are holding it, it looks like there is a curved line coming from the dot on the bottom right corner of the square of dots going across to the left and then down. Both sides have raised seams. Just wondering if you could tell by that marking what date it was made. Thanks.

    • David says:

      Pam, the “PAT NOV 30TH 1858” style jars are found with many kinds of base markings…… numbers, letters, bumps, raised dots, lines, etc. There is not a way to know the exact age from most of those marks. Sorry,
      David

  11. Ken Nelson says:

    A friend has a 1858 Mason Jar. Patent MOB 30 TR. It is blue and has a 5 or S on the base.

  12. Kathy ellis says:

    The jar I found has the correct patent date in raised lettering, bubbles in I the glass, it has a grayish tint seams on either side and I think a ground lip. No markings on the bottom, but it is a pedistal “glass” fluted top no threading.

  13. JoAnne Reich says:

    I have a Mason’s jar with the cross…faint F, J, G and H. Patent Nov. 30 th 1858 below cross. On the bottom is embossed: Pat Nov 2667. Looks to be a “O C” or “OG”. The lip inside of the Ball zinc lid is very rough. Any idea if this is a fake or original?

    • David says:

      JoAnne, yes it is an authentic, old fruit jar, NOT a modern repro. The letters in the “arms’ of the cross are supposed to be “H F J CO” which stands for “Hero Fruit Jar Company”. Many of those jars exist, and the base is usually marked with a mold number(s) or letter(s) and the patent date of November 26, 1867. The jars were made over a long period of time, from 1867 to (possibly) the mid or late 1890s.
      David

  14. Sandra Kehler says:

    I have a NOV. 30 TH 1858 with the Maltese cross above Mason’s. The bottom has 67 PAT NOV 26 with a number 255. The 255 is embossed twice as well as the NO & AT. Is there any info on the errors ?

    • David says:

      Sandra, many old jars and bottles have “ghost embossing” which is a much fainter “repeat” of the main lettering, usually just in part. It occurs during hand-blowing of the molten glass into the mold during the manufacture of the bottle. The jar was made by Hero Fruit Jar Company.
      David

  15. Audrey says:

    Hi, David. I found a cobalt blue fruit jar in an antique mall. I had never seen one in that color, so I purchased it. I did some research into it, and I’m trying to find out if it is a reproduction, or if it is an original. I have looked for lot numbers, and there are none at all. The only markings are the logo that reads, “Mason’s Patent Nov 30th 1858.” There small bubbles and big waves in the glass. There are also other imperfections in the threads, and the base. I do not have the original lid. Any insight? You’re website and another auction site are the only places I can find any information on the cobalt blue fruit jars.

    • David says:

      Audrey, please contact me directly at my email address which is listed at the bottom right of this page. I would like to see a picture of the jar, if possible, and the base. If there is NO base wear whatsoever, and very little or no light scratching visible when held up to a bright light, it is likely a repro. True, original cobalt blue 1858-type jars are very rare. Repros are being made and imported from Asia, and are showing up at flea markets and antique malls around the country. Sometimes the sellers intentionally do not include info on age or origin, and others honestly don’t know they are recent.
      Best regards, David

  16. Joe Brown says:

    I have two of the 1858’s. One has the Consolidated Fruit Jar Company emblem with D418 on the bottom. The other has a emblem under the Mason’s that looks like a clay pot or blunt nose arrow with nothing on the bottom.

  17. Joy York says:

    My “MASON’S PATENT NOV 30TH 1858” has nothing on the bottom, looks light purple or
    pinkish, has swirls and bubbles throughout, has thick seams on both sides, as well as around the bottom. Pretty worn overall. Was wondering if because it has no markings on bottom, indicates it is old or repro. Thank you.

    • David says:

      In your case I am sure it is an old one. Some of the older “Nov 30th 1858” Masons were originally made in clear glass and will turn some shade of very light purple (from the manganese in the formula) under continued sunlight. Also, sounds like it has base wear. Many molds for these jars were used over a long period of time, by many glass factories, and so some of the jars will have mold letters or numbers on the bottom, and some do not. Whether or not a jar has a mark of some type (such as a mold number or letter) has no direct correlation with whether it is a repro or an authentic older jar, since both can occur with, or without embossing on the base.
      David

  18. Delta Apodaca says:

    The Ball Masons patent Nov 40th 1858. Bottom of jar 233. Top is rough, seems ground not machine made. Looking to see if authentic.

  19. Janine Strong says:

    I was given a mason’s patent Nov 30 th 1858 with the no 5on the bottom of the bottle

    • David says:

      Janine, many of these jars were made over a long period of time (circa 1858 to about 1912) and they often have a mold number on the base, either one, two or three digits. The older types have a “ground lip” and the more recently made types may have a “smooth lip”.
      ~David

  20. Mary Jo says:

    My neighbor unearthed what we think is a lid (ground edge) with a small 2 on one sid (inside) and on outer side it says Patent September 24, 1858. Center bump looks worn (from closing bracket?). Mason?

    • David says:

      Mary Jo,
      I can’t find any information relating to a fruit jar lid with that patent date embossing. Perhaps it is some other kind of glass product?
      David

  21. Jen says:

    Hi! my Jar says Mason’s PATENT Nov 30TH 1858 and on the bottom there is a Triangle with the number 5 in it. any info? THANKS 🙂

  22. Paul von Fange says:

    Thanks for this article! My wife has an aqua (or very light green) glass Mason jar (Patent Nov. 30th 1858) from her great-grandmother in northwestern Ohio. There are seams on both sides, the lip is rough and on the bottom is XIX. I haven’t seen any mention of the ‘XIX’ – any idea what that might mean?

    • David says:

      Hi Paul,
      The XIX is a mold identifying number (probably meant as Roman equivalent of ’19’) and cannot give us any info on glassmaker or exact age. The “PATENT Nov 30TH 1858” fruit jars were made by hundreds of glass companies over more than 50 years, and many, many different molds were utilized. Many of the molds were engraved with various numbers, letters, or combinations thereof. Sorry I don’t have any specific info on that particular mold mark.
      Best regards,
      David

  23. Ruby Miles says:

    I’ve found a canning jar with a name on it that I’ve never heard of, The name is Reliable, written in cursive,slanted up hill on the right side. Under the name is, HOME CANNING, and under that is MASON. On bottom of jar are the numbers 2 then a dot in the middle (not sitting on the line like a period) then 505.Then in the middle of jar bottom is a hexagon( it has 6 sides) with a P or F in middle of hexagon. Then below that is the number 18. I can’t find any info abt it anywhere. Can you or anybody tell me who made this kind of canning jar.

    • David says:

      Hi Ruby,
      This jar is listed as jar #2489 in the reference “The Fruit Jar Works, Volume 2” by Alice Creswick & Howard Creswick (published 1987). The listings (catalog numbers) also appear in the companion volume (and price guide) loosely known as the “REDBOOK” which is updated every few years.
      The jar is described as having been made in the “circa 1940-1950” period. The original glass inserts that came with zinc bands are marked “RELIABLE F MASON” and I assume they are more difficult to find. “F in a hexagon” is one of the marks used by Fairmount Glass Company of Indianapolis, Indiana. Please check out my page on that company.
      On your jar, the “505” is probably a number assigned to that particular mold style or jar design. The “18” is presumably a mold number.
      Hope this helps,
      David

  24. Beth says:

    Hi there, I sent a message asking about a jar and I am having a hard time finding the message and the reply. How can I make sure you received it? I have a Mason’s jar and Its an aqua Mason Nov 30th 1858 jar and it has a logo under the word Masons then the word Patent. It is hard to explain what the logo looks like. I am having a hard time finding anything like it. The word Mason’s has a curve to it. It has a number 29 on the bottom of the jar. The lid is a Boyd’s lid it says ” genuine Boyd’s cap for mason jar” I have had the jar for years now and would love some info on it.

    • David says:

      Beth, please contact me directly, using the email address at the bottom right of any page on this site. If I can see a pic of the jar and the embossing, perhaps I can come up with specific info for you.
      David

  25. Eleesha says:

    We purchased a mason’s patent nov 30th 1858 jar…lots of air bubbles and swirls in the glass with a heavy seam on each side of the bottle. But the most interesting thing is 4 raised dots on the bottom of the jar???? Can you tell me what those signify and age approximate of the jar???

    • David says:

      Eleesha, the dots are presumably mold identification marks (equivalent to letters or digits) and cannot give us any specific info on age or glassmaker. Dots and “bumps” are seen on many older bottles and jars.
      David

  26. Lori Bennett says:

    Hi,
    I have two Mason Standard antique quart jars. I know they are old as they came from my grandmother’s cellar. Standard is written in script, slanting upwards and Mason, below it, in capital block letters inside a banner type outline also slanting up. They are blue, bubbled & have seams. One has a two on the bottom and the other has a three. I haven’t ever seen any like these and would appreciate anything you could tell me about them.

    • David says:

      Lori, your jar type is listed in “The Fruit Jar Works, Volume 1” by Alice Creswick, (and the accompanying “Redbook” guide used by jar collectors) as jar listing #2712. The text, page 200, indicates the jar was made between 1902-1925 POSSIBLY by the Illinois-Pacific Glass Company, San Francisco, CA. (The numbers on the base are mold numbers).
      Your jar is just one of many slightly different “Mason” type jars with the words MASON and/or STANDARD as part of their markings. Thus it can be very confusing to pinpoint exactly which jar type is being discussed. Your precise description helped me to easily differentiate and find that listing in Creswick’s reference book!
      Hope this helps,
      David

  27. Abbey Barnes says:

    I recently bought a mason jar and in just wondering if it is real or a reproduction. It says, Mason’s patent Nov. 30th 1858. It is of a light blueish green color and has a lot of bubbles in the glass. On the bottom the mark looks like a 7 with a line through it or an uppercase L with a line through it, depending on which way you are holding it. Thoughts?

    • David says:

      Abbey, in all likelihood it is “real”, meaning it is an older one from sometime in the 1858-1912 time period. From your description of the base marking I suspect it may be a later machine-made production from Ball (circa 1900-1912). The “smooth base” 1858s are machine-made and were made by Ball and other glass companies in the early 1900s. The versions with the “ground lip” (looks as if the top was smoothed off on a grinding wheel) were handmade and (in GENERAL) predate 1900.
      David

  28. Joe Kerr says:

    Hi Dave, I have a patent jar in the aqua blue as well with a 207 on the bottom? Any idea where this may have been manufactured?

    • David says:

      Hi Joe, the numbers on the base of jars with the “MASON’S PATENT NOV 30TH 1858” marking are, as far as is generally understood by the collecting fraternity, MOLD NUMBERS. They merely identified a particular mold in use at the factory. They give us absolutely no information on what company made a particular jar (with the exception of some Hemingray-produced jars, as mentioned in the text). Mold numbers were probably used by HUNDREDS of glass manufacturers that made these jars. So-called “green glass” factories (those making utilitarian containers, not tableware) almost always made some fruit jars as part of their operations, that covering the period of circa 1858 into the 1910s.
      David

  29. Lisa Stott says:

    I have an old Masons Jar that’s aqua color. Patent November 28, 1858. Number 4 on the bottom. I can’t find anything about it really other than Wikipedia. I located it on the family farm in WV. It even has the lid with the milk glass inside.

    • David says:

      Lisa, I assume you meant “Nov 30 1858”. The “4” is a mold number. Many different mold numbers are found on these jars, and they usually don’t give us any information on exactly what glass company made the jar, or when. Please check out my text and the comments section for more info.
      David

  30. Crystal says:

    I have a Mason’s Patent Nov. 30th 1858 with Pat.Nov 26 67 and a 10 in the canter of the bottom of the jar.

  31. Barb Adair says:

    Mine has Nov 30 “HT” not th

  32. Curtis says:

    Thanks for describing my mason’s jar so well in your article. I have one with the maltase cross with the letters in each arm as mentioned. The bottom of the jar is embossed with ” pat nov. 26 67″ around the edge and the number 86 or 8G double stamped in the middle. The bottle itself looks like it could have been molded in a carved wooden mold.

    • David says:

      Thank you, Curtis. All of the “1858” jars were made in iron or steel molds, although the “whittled” look does make them look like they might have been blown in wooden molds. take care,
      David

  33. Jacqueline Lee says:

    I have a blue quart mason jar. On the front it says; MASON’S
    PATENT 1858. No month though. On the opposite side it spells Port in cursive. Can you tell me anything about it ? I sure would appreciate your opinion.

    • David says:

      Jacqueline,
      Your jar is a type made by Port Glass Company (originally located in Muncie, Indiana 1890-1902) at their second plant in Belleville, Illinois (1902-1904). The Port plant at Belleville was purchased by Ball Brothers Glass Company in 1904 who continued to operate it until 1910 when it was closed. Your jar is listed as jar #1767 in the “Redbook” price guide used by jar collectors. This info is from Alice Creswick’s “The Fruit Jar Works” and Dick Roller’s “The Standard Fruit Jar Reference”. Both are very comprehensive books with good background info on many jars and companies. The books are hard to find, out of print, and rather expensive when they are available.
      Hope this helps~
      ~David

  34. Jessica says:

    David,

    I recently came across a fruit jar that says “the mason jar of 1872”. It has the original glass lid that has patented September 24 1872. I tried researching it online but came across no information. Do you know anything about this jar?

    Thank you,

    Jess

    • David says:

      Hi Jess,
      Several different variants of the jars marked “The Mason Jar of 1872” were made by Whitney Bros, later Whitney Glass Works, of Glassboro, New Jersey, dating from 1871 up to around 1900. If the base of your jar is completely unmarked, you probably have the earliest version, which is listed as #1749 in the “Redbook” used by jar collectors. Info from Alice Creswick’s “The Fruit Jar Works, Volume 1” (1995), pages 125-126.
      ~David

  35. David says:

    Hi David! My girlfriend and I were at Renningers flea market and came across an unusual mason jar. It’s November 30th edition 1858. But it has an unusual marking symbol under the Mason name. The symbol is with an F, J and C all joing together. Also has the markings on the bottom J. II9 with a line under the “II”. Cant seem to find much on this jar. Was wanting to know if you could help out. Thank you.

    • David says:

      David, your jar was made for the Consolidated Fruit Jar Company, New Brunswick, NJ with sales offices in New York, in business from around 1871 into the early 1900s. Consolidated seems to have been a distributor (rather than an actual glassmaker) and they had huge numbers of jars made for them by many glass companies over several decades (basically, a subcontracting arrangement). The “C F J CO” monogram is seen on several varieties of “Nov 30th 1858 type” jars, usually with the monogram placed immediately below the word MASON’S, and sometimes embossed on the back of the jar. Your variety is listed as #1920 in the “Redbook” guide used by jar collectors.
      ~David

  36. Patrick P says:

    Hello i purchased a dark purple Masons Improved jar it has F.260 on the bottom of it I don’t think it a reproduction but someone told me it is can you help me.

    • David says:

      Patrick, if you wish, you can email me a pic of the jar and of the base to my email address which is listed on the bottom right hand corner of any page on this site. I suspect it is an irradiated jar, or a modern repro, but I would like to see a pic of it, if possible.
      Best regards,
      David

  37. Sandra Day-Alexander says:

    Hi – I have a Mason’s Patent Nov 30th 1858 with an A5 on the bottom. Any ideas how old it may be? I found it along with 40 other different mason jars when we tore down an old house.

    • David says:

      Sandra, many molds were used by hundreds of glass factories to produce the Nov 30th 1858 jars (over a period of 50+ years) and many of those molds were marked with mold identification numbers or letters on the base. In the great majority of cases, it is not possible to find the year of manufacture.
      David

  38. Patrick says:

    I have a jar with “Mason”patented November 30th 1880 the number on the bottom 75. This bottle has a lot of oblong air bubbles in it. I have not been able to find any information on this jar

    • David says:

      Hi Patrick, See my reply I posted today on a similar jar, in answer to a post by Ellen. Your jar has a “75” mold number on it, and hers has the number “72”. They were both presumably made in the early 1880s.
      David

  39. Ellen says:

    I recent bought a clear half gallon canning jar that says “”Mason” Patent Nov. 30th 1880″ – not 1858 and I have not been able to find anything about this jar online or find one like it for sale anywhere. Can you tell me anything about it? There are no other markings on the jar except for the number 72 on bottom. Thank you

    • David says:

      Hi Ellen,
      Although at first glance, this jar might seem to be an “Error Jar”, this was referring to an actual patent awarded on November 30th, 1880. The patent was relating to a milkglass “Immerser lid” which originally came with the jar. There are two jar variants listed in the official fruit jar collectors’ “REDBOOK”, they are listed as jars numbered #2130 and 2131. The jar number 2131 has “quotation marks” on both sides of the word “MASON”, otherwise they are similar. I do not have info on rarity or current values. I would suggest you try posting a query in the Fruit Jars discussion forums at the antique-bottles.net site. A lot of good, in-depth information is posted on that site.
      Best regards,
      David

  40. I’ve inherited a 6 cup Ball Special, made in U.S.A. har which has a zinc lid with glass center which has PAT RE.17562 in raised capital letters across the center of the glass. (There is the number 13 above the Pat # at about 11 o’clock, “13”. Could someone help me to better understand what I have inherited? I do not know if this was my mother’s who was born in 1928, or from her mother? Very curious, and would like to know!

  41. Barbara adair says:

    I have a nov 30 “ht” 1885 I’ve hade it since the 70’s bought it in a box lot at a farm auction. Have not been able to find any others with ht not th

    • David says:

      Hi Barbara,
      I am assuming you meant to write “1858”, correct? If so, your jar variant is listed as catalog #1820 in the “Redbook” of antique fruit jars used by jar collectors. There is also a jar with the error date “1885” but the “TH” is correctly embossed. That jar is listed as #1829.
      Hope this helps,
      David

Comments/Replies: All comments are moderated so will not be published immediately. Because of mail volume received, and time and energy restraints, some questions may not be answered individually, especially if the subject is already addressed elsewhere on this site. This website is not intended as an appraisal service, but as a resource for background info on glass companies and the marks they used, so I usually delete "What is this bottle worth?" types of queries. Thank you very much for your patience & understanding !!