In particular, bottles/jars intended for bulky solid food items (like preserved pickles, olives, fruits, etc.) had to have a relatively wide mouth (bore) in order to the facilitate the packing as well as extraction of these products.(This is evident on the mid-19th century "cathedral" pickle bottle pictured to the above left.) Some liquid food containers like milk bottles (example to the right) also had relatively wide mouths for overall ease of use (and cleaning for re-use) though other more liquid food products (oil, sauces) worked quite well with narrow mouth bottles.For instance, the first category - "Sauces & Condiments" - has sub-categories based on a design theme ("Gothic", "Club"), shape ("Ribbed"), contents (Ketchup/Catsup), or a combination of two like design and contents ("Barrel Mustard").

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In Munsey's (1970) classic book "The Illustrated Guide to Collecting Bottles" he used separate chapters for "Fruit Jars", "Food Bottles", "Milk Bottles", and "Candy Bottles" - all of which are covered within this "Food Bottles & Canning Jars" typing page.

Conversely, Munsey also lumped into the "Food Bottles" chapter types which are separated here into subject categories, i.e., "Sauces & Condiments", "Pickles & Preserved Foods", and "Vegetable Oil & Salad Dressing Bottles" - all of which also have sub-categories under those main headings.

Glass in particular, provided a combination of unique qualities not available with early day ceramic or metal containers, i.e., ease of manufacture, impermeability to the atmosphere, and inert in contact with virtually all food product contained within imparting no "off" flavors (Bender 1986; Jones 1993).

(Note: Bender [1986] contains an excellent though succinct overview of early 19th century food preservation efforts, although the book is primarily devoted to the major closures used by the glass packing industry during the first half of the 20th century.) Although the variety of different shaped glass containers used for food products was quite extensive, many classes of food bottles and jars do share a couple traits in common.

Both of these books have excellent, relatively comprehensive, historical information although both are long out of print and difficult (expensive) to obtain, even on the internet.

: Attached to the "Bottle Types/Diagnostic Shapes" grouping of pages is a complete copy of a never re-printed, 280 page, 1906 Illinois Glass Company bottle catalog scanned at two pages per JPEG file.Many solid food bottle/jars also tended to be larger sized bottles since food was (and is) consumed in larger quantities than most other products like medicine or (hopefully) liquor.Of note is the fact that since the preservation of the bottled food products over time was of paramount importance, many food bottles/jars were designed around the closure which was virtually always the primary critical link for long term storage (Toulouse 1969a; Bender 1986).This book is still available new and used at sources like For fruit/canning jars, Alice Creswick's two volume "The Fruit Jar Works" (1987) and Dick Roller's "The Standard Fruit Jar Reference" (1983) are the classics in the field.Along with figured flasks (Mc Kearin & Wilson 1978) and possibly Western liquor bottles (Thomas 1974, 1977, 1998a & b, 2002), canning jars have had some of the best historical research done on them though all of the "good" books are long out of print.