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The name “fruit jar” comes from the fruits that were put up in open-top jars and bottles and sealed with combinations of corks and wax.It was the sugar content in the syrup that kept these fruits from quickly spoiling, rather than Appert’s method of destroying the bacteria by boiling.

The jars he produced, embossed “Trademark Lightning” on the side, with “Putnam” on the base, gave the generic name “Lightning” to jars that used this closure after Putnam’s rights expired.

Lightning closures can be found on dozens of jars bearing such names as Atlas E-Z Seal, Ball Ideal, Chef, Daisy, Empire and on through the alphabet.

Unfortunately, most of the 1858s found by new collectors will be clear or aqua and of nominal value due to the number still being found.

The teal blue half-gallon jar has a market value today somewhere above $5,000; the amber 1858 quart, about $125-$150; and the midget keystone 1858 pint, about $35. 30th 1858” quarts, ground or smooth lip, are valued at only about $5 to a collector, and they are often difficult to sell at that price. Mason again hit the mark with his patent for a glass top-seal lid and screw band, granted on May 10 of that year.

30th 1858” date became generic on fruit jars made by numerous glass companies. 30, 1858 patent, probably with the embossed date, were being made by some unknown glass house as early as June 25, 1859, when an ad for “Mason’s Patent Sheet Metal Screw Top Preserve Jars” appeared in the Pittsburgh Dispatch.

There are hundreds of different “1858” jars, made in sizes from half-pint (extremely rare) to four-gallon (made for exhibition purposes), and their colors range across the spectrum, including clear, sun-colored-amethyst, aqua, green, amber and blue.

Food for his armies was a problem as they moved farther from home, finding cattle hidden and crops burned before them.

So Napoleon offered a prize of 12,000 francs for the development of a way to preserve foods that could be carried with the invading troops.

Fruit jars were produced with almost every kind of fastening device imaginable.

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