Jar

 

Jars are containers used for storing food. Jars are available in various sizes and shapes. Even though jars are usually cylindrical, they can also be rhombus shaped. Nowadays jars are also sold in the shape of fruits or figurines. Jars are commonly made of glass, clay or ceramic.

The Origin of Jars:

The jar was invented out of the necessity for storing “food for winter”. Before the invention of electricity, refrigerators or other modern essentials, people needed a way for storing food, collected during the warm season, to last them through the cold winter months. The first jars were made by scooping out vegetables with hard skins and drying them. Pumpkin was the most commonly used vegetable for this purpose. People in those times needed to store left over food, reusable items and dried provisions. Using vegetable jars, provided the necessary storage means. The thick skin of the vegetable kept the food at cool temperatures. Drying the vegetables made the skin hard and leathery; thus preventing insects from getting to the food. The dried vegetable shells were gradually replaced by leather stretched over wooden frames. Leather jars were replaced by tin cans and then clay. Glass and ceramic jars are relatively new inventions.

 
Types of Jars:

Jars are used for various purposes. Special jars for canning, fruit preservation, pickle storage, sauces and syrups are available. Each is specifically made in accordance with the kind of purpose it is meant for. Sauce and syrup jars have a spout on the lid to make it easier to pour out the liquid. There are people who have the hobby of collecting jars. There are unique color jars available for jar collectors. There are money jars, for kids to collect money. It is a variation of the ever popular piggy bank. Nowadays there are special kinds of jars manufactured, known as sun jars. These contain solar cells, rechargeable batteries and low energy LED lamps. The jars are placed in sunlight during the day. The solar cells are charged from the sunlight. At night this energy is used to light the LED lamp. The jar is made of frosted glass, which gives a diffused glow when the lamps are lighted. Some jars are manufactured with such materials that can be used for storing anything. However, most jars are made to be utilized for varied purposes.

Mayonnaise Jars:

Mayonnaise jars are wide mouthed glass jars for storing mayonnaise. They have screw caps to enable a person to open the jar easily and scoop out the mayonnaise. The mayonnaise jars previously used to have lids which had to be pressed on. The screw caps are a recent innovation. Any jar of this type is referred to as a mayonnaise jar, irrespective of whether it contains mayonnaise or not. The mayonnaise jar has become an icon of the Soviet lifestyle, where it originated. But, it is rapidly being replaced by western designs and styles. The old fashioned soviet style mayonnaise jar has now become a curiosity.

Fruit Jars:

Fruit jars, also known as Mason jars, were invented by John L. Mason. They were invented around early 1850. Antique fruit jars are sought after by many collectors. In fact, many shops have an entire section devoted to the selling of antique fruit jars. Some antique fruit jars have been sold at extremely high prices, the highest being $30,000. Early fruit jars were known as “wax sealers”. They used sealing waxes to clamp the lid. The lids were made of tin and the wax was poured around the lip which held on to the lid. This used to be complicated and error prone process. But, it was the only available process and was used till the early 1900's. The wax sealed lids were replaced by the screw-on zinc caps. The screw on zinc caps were the precursor to the modern screw-on lids. John L. Mason discovered this application and patented it. The John L. Mason jars were made in large quantities and many of the earliest made jars can be found even today.

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