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 to any room.  Not only are they beautiful as décor, but they are genuine pieces of history that bring more to a home than a modern reproduction ever could.  Each is unique in its own way.

Ball jars are one of the most sought-after vintage jar brands, so it’s no wonder how fast they go during our Antique Candle Restock!  Many of the Ball jars that become available as candles during the sale also vary in their production dates.  So, that begs the question:

When was your Ball jar made? 

To answer that, compare the logo of your jar to those on this chart:

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 things to keep in mind:

  1. Not every jar has their manufacture date, but most do 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!

So, will you be lucky enough to snag one of these vintage Ball jars during the next Antique Candle Restock (announced on Instagram), or did you manage to grab one in the last sale?  If so, when was yours made?  Let us know in the comments below, or send us a message on Facebook!


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Have a beautiful day!



    I have a Ball jar cap is missing Pat"d July 14 1908 with a little chip on it. Is it worth anything dollar wise.

  • Ann

    I dated my country pear ball jar last night mine says Ideal on it so says it’s from 1915 to 1962. Love them and can’t wait for next restock

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