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Dating Old Canning Jars

I have a lot of old, vintage canning jars. I love the history they carry as well as their charm and character.

Dating A Canning Jar

While it is okay to use them for storage or even as a refrigerator container, you should never process old jars in a canner. The old glass can’t take the temperature change and might shatter – which would be such a shame. Plus, the old fashioned sealing method is not reliable. But vintage jars are great on your pantry shelf to hold grain, etc.

So if you have some old jars, how do you know their true age?

If you have a Ball jar, you can date most of them just by looking at the logo. Every few years, the Ball Manufacturing Co changed the logo and if you compare yours to a reliable chart, you know how old it is. All you need is a chart like the one below.

I found this great chart on Pinterest but unfortunately, it had lost it’s original link to the source. At one point, I found what claimed to be the original source and linked to it here. But in the last 6 months or so, that site went down and never came back. The URL no longer works. So if someone does know the original source, please reply in the comments so I can relink. Thanks bunches!

Dating Canning Jars chart

PLEASE NOTE: I am getting a lot of emails and questions in the comments about the value of people’s jars. I’m not an expert in this area and I cannot tell you the value of your jar. Your guess is as good as mine.

I just love to collect them. Their value to me is sentimental.

If you have an old jar you want to sell, I suggestion you check on ebay to see what similar jars are selling for. Good luck!

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.