Mason's 1858 patent for a fruit-canning jar expired, the brothers prepared to move into glass.
By 1884 the first Ball jars as we think of them today were produced, and in 1888 furnaces were fired at a new plant in Muncie, Indiana.
The build up to John Mason’s November 30th, 1858, patent for the Mason jar, which ultimately revolutionized food preservation, began with Robert Arthur in 1855.
That’s when Arthur introduced a wax seal on a metal jar.
Yes, the mason jar certainly harkens back to a simpler time, before refrigerators and artificial preservatives, and now that we take those things for granted, canning has become something of a throwback jam (cue snare)—the vessel once dedicated to keeping and storing foodstuffs is now commonly used as a drinking glass or decorative object.
Innovation and acquisition became two necessary tools to its success.
By grinding the lip of the glass until it was nearly flat (known as a 'square shoulder') and inserting a simple rubber gasket inside the lid, Mason achieved a sufficiently airtight seal, and his namesake was born.
The Ball Corporation—which also provides funding for the eponymous state university—was among the companies that capitalized on Mason's invention when the patent expired.
The evolution of fruit or canning jars parallels the science of food preservation, which itself was an attempt to address a critical need.
For centuries, rural farmers and the poor struggled to find ways to preserve food for the winter.