I’ve done it again: added another hodgepodge hobby to my dizzyingly long list. My new interest is now collecting – wait for it – antique canning jars.
Our weekend in Savannah, Max’s sister Ami opened my eyes to the wonderful world of Ball jars, more commonly referred to as mason jars. I was instantly fascinated by the small pieces. Together, Ami and I scoured each antique store we ventured into.
There it was, tucked away in the back row of the bottom shelf on the third floor. A purple mason jar. Not just any purple though; it was the most amazing shade of violet I’ve ever seen. One glance at the top where it read May 23, 1871 and I knew I was hooked. This was the piece that I wanted to kick start my collection. One peak at the price tag made me shudder: $35. Yikes.
Ami said she’d never seen a purple Ball jar before. As the resident expert, I took her word that this was a rare find. In my heart, I couldn’t rationalize spending so much on one item though. Reluctantly, I placed it back on the shelf.
That night, Ami researched the history behind purple mason jars. Turns out, the color is a byproduct of the clarifying agent, manganese dioxide, manufacturers used. Sunlight would react with the chemical turning a clear jar into a beautiful shade of purple. As a result of the German blockade at the onset of World War I, manufacturers stopped using manganese dioxide and thus purple canning jars were no more.
Taking this background information into consideration, there’s a good chance the purple jar Ami found predates World War I. The news made my heart feel just a tad bit heavier. I’d passed up the opportunity not only to start my collection, but also preserve a small sliver of history.
Days later, I still hadn’t gotten over my infatuation. I even looked purple mason jars up on eBay. As I swung by the house on our way to Disney World, Max mysteriously asked me to follow him into the kitchen.
Sitting on the counter, neatly wrapped, was my purple mason jar! I tore the wrapping off just to be sure. Sure enough, there it was. What a lucky girl I am, to have such a thoughtful husband. It was the perfect way to start our Disney vacation: with an unexpected surprise 🙂
This jar is the first and most valued piece of my collection.
Thanks to my wonderful husband, who supports me no matter what and always continues to surprise me no matter how long we’ve been together.