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05-Aug-2018 04:59

This book is still available new and used at sources like

For fruit/canning jars, Alice Creswick's two volume "The Fruit Jar Works" (1987) and Dick Roller's "The Standard Fruit Jar Reference" (1983) are the classics in the field.

In particular, bottles/jars intended for bulky solid food items (like preserved pickles, olives, fruits, etc.) had to have a relatively wide mouth (bore) in order to the facilitate the packing as well as extraction of these products.

(This is evident on the mid-19th century "cathedral" pickle bottle pictured to the above left.) Some liquid food containers like milk bottles (example to the right) also had relatively wide mouths for overall ease of use (and cleaning for re-use) though other more liquid food products (oil, sauces) worked quite well with narrow mouth bottles.

In Munsey's (1970) classic book "The Illustrated Guide to Collecting Bottles" he used separate chapters for "Fruit Jars", "Food Bottles", "Milk Bottles", and "Candy Bottles" - all of which are covered within this "Food Bottles & Canning Jars" typing page.

Conversely, Munsey also lumped into the "Food Bottles" chapter types which are separated here into subject categories, i.e., "Sauces & Condiments", "Pickles & Preserved Foods", and "Vegetable Oil & Salad Dressing Bottles" - all of which also have sub-categories under those main headings.

The organization used here simply made more sense given the author's experience and the specific goals of this website.

(The image to the right above is of an assortment of gothic style food bottles known to date from 1865 as they were recovered from the Steamship Republic Undoubtedly the best reference book on food bottles is Betty Zumwalt's "Ketchup, Pickles, Sauces - 19th Century Food in Glass" (1980) which has extensive coverage of just about every class of food bottle, excluding canning jars.

Historically, many processes were used to preserve food for the long term including drying, smoking, pickling (like for the cucumber pickles that likely were contained in the ornate bottle to the left), sugaring, salting, alcohol (i.e.

"brandied cherries), cold storage (when available), and a few other methods less often.

The milestone event in the containerized preservation of food was the development of the hermetically sealed container by the French inventor M.

Glass in particular, provided a combination of unique qualities not available with early day ceramic or metal containers, i.e., ease of manufacture, impermeability to the atmosphere, and inert in contact with virtually all food product contained within imparting no "off" flavors (Bender 1986; Jones 1993).

(Note: Bender [1986] contains an excellent though succinct overview of early 19th century food preservation efforts, although the book is primarily devoted to the major closures used by the glass packing industry during the first half of the 20th century.) Although the variety of different shaped glass containers used for food products was quite extensive, many classes of food bottles and jars do share a couple traits in common.

(This was during the Napoleonic War era and was done, not surprisingly, for military reasons.) Appert's experiments with the application of high heat along with the exclusion of air from a sealed container led directly to the development of a canning process in 1809 (and Appert's award of the prize money) that allowed for the relatively long term storage of animal and vegetable products in sealed containers of various materials (Munsey 1970; Roller 1983; Bender 1986; Jones 1993).