I'm still working on clearing out the "junk room" in the upstairs of our old house. I've really been dragging my feet on the closet-full of canning jars; I recall buying so many cases of them when money was truly tight. They seemed like a treasure to me at the time, and I proudly filled them with peaches, green beans, tomatoes, blackberries, and jams and jellies of all flavors.
In my older age, I grew weary of the whole gardening-and-canning process; I ended up throwing so much stuff away because it got old before Cliff and I used it. And the truth is, it just isn't fun any more.
But I kept my jars. A whole closet full of boxes and boxes of canning jars.
I resolved to give them all away; after all, I don't think I want to do much canning in the future.
Then I thought about the way prices are rising and decided to keep half of them.
As my sister-in-law, Rena, and I began hauling them to Cliff's shop, he figured we'd better keep them. After all, we may have to garden and can to survive.
But when he saw how many I had, he hollered "uncle" and said, "We have plenty; give the rest away."
I agreed, but there were certain jars I had inherited from my mother with which I cannot part.
The beautiful blue jars. I assumed they were all identical, but then I looked at the bottoms and saw different numbers and letters on them:
There's an underlined 9, an underlined G or 6, and a couple of zeros. All of this means something to a collector, I'm not sure what; the information I got from Google is limited.
Those seams down either side also date the jars somehow; if I understood what I read, I think it means they were made before 1937. But I might be wrong.
See the seams?
Oh, and the delightful flaws in these old jars. I'm not sure how well it will show up in the pictures, but there are bubbles in the glass!
Now for a special treasure....
Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason!
It has even MORE bubbles in the glass; I'm assuming it's the oldest of the lot.
But what makes these jars special for me is knowing my mother used them for years before passing them on to me; maybe my Grandma even used them! I have used them all, not even thinking about their possible worth. (Their worth isn't really all that much, by the way: Anywhere from $5 to $25, best I can determine.)
So, now that you know I can't part with them, do you have any suggestions for their use?
Somebody just shoot me.
Added later: I found an informative article with a chart which explains how to date Ball jars by the way the logo is made. Click HERE and scroll to the bottom.