A Vintage Education ~ Dating Old Canning Jars

 Vintage canning jars are one of those things that have kind of been in the background for me. I see canning jars fairly often at thrifts and yard sales and I normally pass right over them. Most are newer and clear glass. I’ve picked up a few in the past, just for my personal storage…I like those kinds with the glass lid and wire bail.
I found the one in the picture above at an estate sale and I knew the zinc lid was a good sign for age and I loved the aqua color.
I also recently came across this reference: HERE is the website I found it on. Lots of great information there!

So let’s take a look at my jar again using the above information.
Hmm…no underline…yes! My jar dates from 1923-1933!!
Wow! I love this!

The number on the bottom of mine is 2. I was all set to research that when I read this on the Minnetrista blog:
“These are called mold numbers. They identify the position that the mold in which the jar was made held on the glassmaking machine. Most machines would have from eight to ten molds, all making the same type of jar. The quality control people used the number on the bottom of the jar to identify which mold was producing bad jars. The number has nothing to do with when the jar was made.”
Well that sorts that out.
I found the next jar at that same estate sale. It’s by Kerr and it’s clear.

Not a whole lot of information to be found about Kerr, just some history. But my jar has seams…which indicates post 1915 when the jars were machine made. Also there’s a Patent Date of August 31st, 1915 on the bottom of the jar…so obviously after that. Some more research to be done! But that’s the fun part!!

Vintage canning jars are popular with collectors and DIY-ers. There is quite the selection on Etsy as well.

Retro Atomic Flatware – A Grocery Store Giveaway

I may have blogged about this before, (haven’t searched for it yet) but I thought I’d share again anyway. I just got through listing some of this flatware in The Retro Shop. I’ve sold similar pieces before so I was happy to come across some again.

The flatware is stainless and is simply marked “Stainless Japan”. The black part is synthetic. Some versions have 2 or 3 stars on them.

It was a bit hard to research it initially, most people just listed it with that information. Which is fine, because it worked. I was able to find other similar pieces even without knowing a manufacturer.

Then I delved a bit deeper and found a person who had posted on a forum that he was looking for more pieces. He had his mother’s set and wanted to add to it. She had gotten as a giveaway from a grocery store (Ralph’s, I think) in the 1960s in California.
Ah, interesting!

Then as I listed and sold those initial pieces I found, I discovered how popular they were. I had people So I’m sure there were several grocery store chains that participated. Lots of people wanted to add to their parent’s sets or re-create the set they remembered as a child.

Which is why selling retro flatware is so cool! I love these stories!
Anybody else remember flatware like this? Which grocery store gave it away?

A Thrifting Adventure With…Curtis Jere

This is just one of those thrifting stories I’m going to love telling over and over again.

Curtis Jere pieces have been on my radar for awhile. I knew owl pieces were good. In fact, this little owl that I found a couple years ago that I blogged about here, has at times been attributed to Jere, but it wasn’t signed. I scan the metal section of thrift stores regularly since it seemed that the pieces could get overlooked. They’re metal wall or table art/sculptures and harder to find than I expected. Most pieces I’ve seen end up being by Homco or Made in Taiwan.

So yesterday, when I had an appointment to buy a Lane mid century end table for my living room and was all ready to head to it (it was about 45 minutes away) I got a text from the seller telling me about some damage she had forgotten to disclose. After a few exchanges and pictures sent to the carpenter hubby..it was a no-go. But I had just picked up a friend to go with me and the kiddos were loaded so we said…”let’s go thrifting anyway!” We decided to drive up to the Goodwill we were planning on going to anyway.

Just about the first thing I see when I walk in was this big metal sculpture and it was love at first sight. I didn’t even imagine it was a Jere piece, I just thought it was cool and that it would sell. Vintage metal art sells. And if it didn’t…I’d find a spot to keep it. Plus the price was right! (very surprising in that overpriced Goodwill!)
I gave a quick scan on the back to see if the C. Jere signature jumped out at me (it looks like it’s written in Sharpie) but wasn’t surprised not to see it.

I loaded it into my woefully too small cart and spent the next 45 minutes trying not to impale my 6 year old who, with the uncanny-ness of a 6 year old…gravitated toward the front of my cart every 30 seconds. I was also trying not to rip any clothing or give any other shoppers their Christmas goose early!

Finally wrangled it into the car and listened to it rattle the whole way home. I remember remarking to my friend that we didn’t find anything amazing (stopped at another Goodwill on our way home where I bought a hole punch, hot rollers and a couple spoons…whoohoo) but that it was still fun.

This morning I pulled it out again, just to see if I could find that Jere signature hiding on the back of one of the trees or hidden somewhere. No dice.

So then I decided to hang it up on a hook in our stair landing just to see what it looked like on a wall and maybe take a few snaps for you blog readers. And what jumps out at me?

What’s that? No kidding…I discovered what a “sharp intake of breath” really sounds like. See it?

Aaahhhh! The signature was on the FRONT!! Hilarious. There I was tooling around Goodwill, not even realizing what was in my cart. 🙂
I’m still researching it and I’ll have to figure out how much shipping will be before I list it. But for now it looks pretty good on my wall.