National Mason Jar Day
When is National Mason Jar Day?National Mason Jar Day is always held on November 30
Today is National Mason Jar Day. It is always held on November 30. This day exists to give recognition to, and to celebrate, the invention of mason jars. While everyone can celebrate the mason jar, home gardeners find them invaluable for canning the fruits and vegetables of their labor.
History of Mason Jars for Canning
Food storage and food safety has always been a vitally essential issue. In ancient history, Man hunted and foraged for food. Whatever was available, had to be consumed either right away, or shortly after. Only a few vegetables and fruits could be saved for longer than a few days. Even then, those fruits and vegetables had a very short storage life of a few weeks to maybe a few months. Eventually, Man discovered ways to preserve some foods. This including drying and salting meats, and drying fruits and vegetables. This significantly extended the shelf life of many foods, but taste and texture wasn't ideal.
On November 30, 1858, John Landis Mason received U.S. Patent # 22186 for the Mason jar, and revolutionized the world of food safety and storage. The mason jar patent was for a square shouldered glass jar with a matching lid, rubber ring and screw top. In addition, the Mason jar is reusable. Needless to say, the mason jar became widely popular with home gardeners. Over the years, it became available in pint, quart and half gallon size. The quart size has always been the most popular size. The Ball Corporation became the leading manufacturer of canning jars.
The popularity of Mason jars peaked during World War II. At the time, the federal government encouraged people to grow some of their own food as a way to preserve valuable resources. It allowed additional labor and resources to be directed to the war effort. After the war, the invention of the refrigerator allowed for easy storage of foods, avoiding the time consuming canning process. However, canning continues to be popular with home gardeners.
Did You Know? While they are generically called "canning jars", most people refer to them as "Mason jars".
Evolving Uses for Mason Jars
John Landis Mason's original invention was intended for use in canning fruits and vegetables, significantly and safely extending the storage life for these foods. For over a hundred and fifty years, that's exactly how they were used. It served this purpose exceedingly well. With the arrival of refrigerators, and people moving into cities, home canning slowly declined. As people stopped using them as canning jars, they accumulated in people's storage areas, or were donated. These donated jars found little demand.
Over the past ten or twenty years, and perhaps longer, people began to find alternative uses for Mason jars. Some of these alternative uses now include:
Did You Know? Most canning jars are made of clear glass. For a while blue mason jars were manufactured. Check your attic and basement for the blue jars, as they old ones are valuable. Zinc lids were also made for a while.
Origin and History of National Mason Jar Day:
This holiday was created in 2017 by Misty Campbell-Olbert. Misty is also the founder of "Unbox the Bizarre", a maker of gift boxes for a wide variety of holidays and events. As you can imagine, Misty promotes the alternative uses of Mason jars, for uses other than canning foods.
Mason jars revolutionized and vastly improved the world of food storage. As a result, it certainly makes sense to have a special holiday to recognize the importance of canning jars.
This relatively new special day is called a "National" day. However, we did not find a congressional or presidential proclamation making this day a true national day.
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