A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS: Book Contributors Include but not limited to: Jerry McCann(JD), Barry L. Bernas,  Dr. Jim Sears, Dave Eifler, Jon Vander Schouw, Jeff Vanaman,  Paul Haas, Bill Burgess, Erik Harris, Anna Dodge, Dr. Nathan Gordon, Brenden Mannell, Bill Bouska, Brian Braun, Mario Pisterzi,  Ben Johnson, Steve Kehrer and Marty Troxell.
This Monumental Project would not be possible without the help of these passionate collectors providing photos and access to their extensive collections. Thank you for your individual contributions, efforts and friendship. Sincerely, Joseph Merkel 

Welcome to the Photographic Fruit Jar Encyclopedia and Value Guide.  The goal is to photographically record every possible American-made fruit jar, known history of manufacturers and to provide the most updated price guide of the most collectible jars. This is a multi year project and we are committed to adding new content and photographs on a regular basis. 

A very special THANK YOU to my friend and fellow jar collector Dave Eifler for securing rights to the RED BOOK OF FRUIT JARS and so graciously allowing me and my son to photograph jars, from his collection, and to help with our online publication. RED BOOK #13 is now available directly from Dave Eifler. 




1)-How old is my jar? (Click- History of Fruit Jars Tab)
2) What’s my jar worth? (Depends on Name, Color, Condition and Scarcity)
3) Who made this jar? (Click- Jar Manufacturers Tab) – The Trade Name Embossed on the side of the Jar does not mean that is the Manufacturer. Jar Names Like Atlas, Ball and Kerr were made by those companies but Mason’s Patent Nov. 13th, 1858 jars were made by many different Glass Manufacturers.
4) What color do collectors call this? (Click- Fruit Jar Color Guide Tab)

Over the last 30+ years, during my study and research of Fruit/Canning Jars it became apparent to me that if I asked what was marked on the base of a jar often gave me insight about the jar in question Identifying the different types, styles and manufacturers of jars, especially jars bearing the Mason’s Patent Nov. 30th, 1858 embossing, starts with the base of the jar.

There were small number glass houses manufacturing jars bearing the Mason’s Patent embossing prior to the Civil War (1861-1865) as evidenced by the two known forms to that point. Crowleytown’s and Beehive’s. With the end of the Civil War industrial progressions and additional Glass Plants led to more jars and a trend to have a more standardized glass vessel as evidenced by Salmon B. Rowley’s Patent Design (D2.640) Dated November 26, 1867. The Patent calling for a more rounded shoulder and heel. This change was obviously well accepted as the popularity for Glass Canning Jars having a threaded mouth and utilizing a simple screw on cap rose dramatically.

Immigration was also a big factor as settlers from Europe brought with them glass blowing techniques and raw talent. This knowledge and experience led to innovations and efficiencies within the manufacturing process. It has been noted by several previous authors and researchers, on the history of glassmaking, that it was not common to share glass making formulas as they were closely guarded by those who held this knowledge. 

2023 Recent Finds Gallery

A small but Wonderful Album containing a group of (12) Ball Brothers Factory related photographs was found and consigned to Historical Glass Collectors Society to Research, Record and Sell in one of our On-Line Auctions. This group will be featured in our Fall 2023 Auction. Some Amazing History Here!!!

Early Ball Brothers- 27 Glass Blowers and Helpers - Most Likely Buffalo Plant- 25 of 27 Identified
1888 Ball Brothers Workers- 63 Numbered- All but 6 are Identified
1890 Ball Glasshouse Workers- 18 Identified Workers
1890 Ball Brothers Workers- 72 in photo- All but 9 are Identified
1890's Ball Factory Workers- 43 Numbered- All but 8 are Identified
1903 Ball Brothers Office Force- All 10 Workers are Identified
1903 Ball Brothers #1 Factory-Showing First Machine And Henry Stephenson
1903 Ball Brothers Sorting Field- Partial View of One Million Jars
Ball Brothers Train and Cars- 15 Executives and Owners- Includes A.F.Rowley E.B.Ball F.E.Burt F.C.Ball G.A.Ball and A.L.Bingham
1905 Ball Brothers -Glassworkers-- All 46 are Identified
1916-1917 Ball Administration Building
July 1923 Ball Brothers Half Gallon Production Lehr#1, #2 Factory