Dating mason jars
The Lightning jars were made by a number of glass companies in several states including Lyndeboro Glass, Lindboro, NH; Edward H. Interestingly, Putnam was living in San Diego at the time but it is not known if any California company made his jars glass.Everett of Newark, OH; Hazel Glass of Washington, PA; JP Smith of Pittsburgh, PA; Moore Brothers in Clayton, NJ; Mannington Glass of Mannington, WV; Wellsburgh Glass and Mfg. The Lightning jars come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes and can be a collecting specialty in and of themselves.
The name Lightning suggested that the jars were quick and easy to use.These jars date from the 1910's and 1920's and have no relation to Lewis Boyd. The only source that I know of today where these rings can be found is at or you can get boxes of the old gaskets on e Bay.It is very difficult to determine the age of a fruit jar without seeing it.Once you've seen a few repros it's pretty easy to spot one on a table.Originally when jars were blown by hand, the number represented a specific glass blower and his team. glassblower #3 made 200 jars that day and he and his team therefore gets paid X number of dollars at X cents per jar produced.They are quart sized and have new and what I would say are sloppy looking wires.
They have smooth lips, are dark amber in color and have Putnam 227 on the base. There could be legitimate Lightning jars with Putnam 227 on base, although I've never actually asked anyone if they have one in their collections.
These familiar jars with their glass lids and wire bales are still found in novelty stores today.
In 1882, Henry William Putnam of Bennington, Vermont, invented a new kind of fruit jar by adopting a bottle stopper patent by Charles de Quillfeldt.
Lightning jars represent an important advancement in the history of home canning and are still a part of American culture.
Some historians suggest that the term "white lightning" may have been inspired not only from the effect of ingesting homemade corn whiskey but by the name of the jars the whiskey was frequently stored in.
The value of square shaped jars tends to be higher than round as it seems that fewer square jars were made.