how to date your ball jar


In 1880, the five Ball brothers used a $200 loan from their uncle to start a business manufacturing tin cans for products such as paint and kerosene. Then, in 1884, the brothers switched to glass home-canning jars and created the household name that we still know and love today. 🥰

Ball jars are classic vintage pieces that add so much class to every room! ✨ Not only are they beautiful as décor, but they are genuine pieces of history that bring so much life to a home. Each is unique in its own way!

Ball jars are one of the MOST sought-after vintage jar brands, which is why we created our Small Batch Candles. 💙 Antiques are our obsession (it IS in our name, after all!). 😉 We want to continue to repurpose beautiful, vintage, and completely one of a kind antique vessels, so we created a collection of these beauties to do just that. Many of the Ball jars available in the Small Batch Candles vary in their production dates. We even have some that are verified as 100+ years old! So, that begs the question: 



To answer that, compare the logo of your jar to those on this chart: (from Minnetrista Gathering Place)

You can also use other identifying marks to help date your jar! Phrases such as “IMPROVED,” “PERFECT,” and “IDEAL,” give further clues to find the approximate year that your Ball jar was made.

Some helpful notes to keep in mind:

  1. Not every jar has their manufacture date on the glass, but most have the patent date. However, this date has no relation to the year your jar was made.
  2. There will be a large number on the bottom of your jar. This is the mold number, and unfortunately also has no relation to the manufacture date.
  3. These charts tell you the approximate decade in which your Ball jar was made.
  4. EVERY Ball jar is special, and no matter what decade yours was manufactured, it’ll still look beautiful in your home! 😍😍


Shop our Small Batch Candles to snag your vintage Ball Jar - these beauties are actual, REAL repurposed antiques. Each one is hand-poured with love and made-to-order to YOUR specifications! 💙




  • Phyllis Shoemaker

    I have several blue ball canning jars with bails and glass lids…I used to can in them. I am curious about a pint jar with Patten date of July 1908. Kit has Ideal on it and on the bottom a mark similar to an x with a mark connecting the top points of this x. I also have several clear glass jars purchased in the early ‘50s. My mother had polio and her handicap prevented her twisting on lids but she could push down the bail to seal jars. My father purchasedthem from the manufacturer, as I believe they were used during WWII to conserve metal but we’re no longer being made. Value? Have enjoyed your info.

  • Debra

    I have a ribbed old fashioned 6 ounce canning Anniversary jar number 10 on the bottom of jar

  • Rachel Harrison

    What is it about canning jars that are so peaceful? Even empty.

  • Rachel Harrison

    My friend gave me a box of his Grandma’s mason jars. Viola was a 101 when she went home. Anyway in the box where 2 quart jars marked Perfect one has a 4 and one a 10 the 10 looks older. I’m truly delighted over Viola’s jars. Rachel

  • Yvonne, CBus Ohio

    I found a box full of Ball mason jars at a flea market which looked brand new. The Embossed “Ball” appears to be 1962-date. Still curious when they were made. The bottom has a larger 6N stamp, which I assume to be a mold number. Above though there is an “I” with the number 62 below it. Does anyone know which year these were produced? Or can anyone point me to any firm resources? Any help would be greatly appreciated. In the meanwhile, I will be using these beautiful jars for preserving my bounty. Happy canning to all.

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