A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 27, 2004
Mason (Fruit) Jar
John Landis Mason, of Brooklyn, patented the "Mason jar" on November 30, 1858. Early jars were sold as "Mason fruit jars." It's still with us today.

I've found ads in New York City and Syracuse newspapers for "Mason fruit jars," from 1865.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
, n.
[< the name of John Landis Mason, U.S. inventor (d. 1902), who was granted a U.S. patent on 30 Nov. 1858 for this kind of glass jar.]

attrib. Designating a wide-mouthed glass jar with an airtight screw cap, widely used in home bottling. Esp. in Mason jar.

1885 N.Y. Weekly Tribune 6 Aug. 13/2 The Illinois Agricultural Society calls attention to the fact that Mason fruit-jars have been sent to that State packed in straw foul with Canada thistle. 1888 L. HARGIS Graded Cook Bk. 472 Quince and apple butter... Put a little of the mixture in a plate and invert, if it adheres the butter is done. Fill Mason jars and seal. 1920 W. S. WALBRIDGE Amer. Bottles 49 Until 1857, the date of the advent of the Mason screw top jar, the only method was by sealing a jar by any process which happened to appeal to the housewife.

4 July 1865, New York Times, pg. 6:
Refrigerators all sizes, ice cream freezers, water coolers, Mason's fruit jars, gas and kerosene cooking stoves, laundry furnaces, stoves, ranges, and house-furnishing goods.


• Mason Jar
John Mason patented the screw neck bottle or the "Mason Jar" on November 30, 1858.

1858: John Mason Invents the Mason Jar

The search for ways to preserve food dates back to around 1810, when Napoleon asked scientists to find a way to keep his troops' provisions from spoiling. But maintaining a food's shelf life by storing it in sealed glass jars didn't become commonplace until John Landis Mason, the founder of a New York City metals shop, patented the "Mason jar" in 1858. The 26-year-old Scotsman invented a reusable, heavy glass container with a threaded opening that could be tightly sealed, using a zinc lid and a flexible rubber ring. Even after his patent expired, the containers' manufacturers continued calling them "Mason jars" — as they are still known today. Mason jars from 1858 is shown here.

—Cynthia Blair

Utility Patent for the Mason Jar
John L. Mason - 1858

In 1858 Mr. Mason was issued a patent for his invention by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). There were 2 documents on file for this patent. The drawing specification sheet of the patent has been reproduced on parchment paper, matted and ready to install into an 8" x 10" frame. The other sheet reproduced from the USPTO documents describe the scope of his invention in formal terms...

"Be it known that I, John L. Mason, of the city, county, and State of New York, have invented new and useful Improvements in the Necks of Bottles, Jars, & especially such as are intended to be air and water tight, such as are used for sweetmeats, & of which the following is a specification"...

Posted by Barry Popik
Food/Drink • Saturday, November 27, 2004 • Permalink

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