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Friday, July 1, 2011

Remember when canning jars came in boxes?

1981 box and jars ready to go on a shelf

Those days are long gone. I still have a box from about forty years ago when I bought my first Ball quart canning jars. At a thrift store a few years ago, I found another sturdy cardboard box full of mostly Ball quarts. Today, as I was moving a box of half-pint jelly jars, I was longing for the days of the cardboard box for canning jars.

The boxes are sturdy, just fit the jars, have partitions, and make good storage. Nowadays, the jars come in a flimsy cardboard "tray" that has no flap/lid and is covered with plastic shrink wrap. Boo for plastic; yay for boxes with flaps. I don't have to worry about the jars full of jelly or empty jars clinking together or having to find a cushion to between each jar. When I fill 12 jars of anything, the box can be used to store canned goods.

After all, the canned food should not be exposed to light. THEN, when the jars are empty, the box makes excellent storage for those empty jars--no chipping, no dings, no breakage. No jars ever get jostled on a shelf or knocked off a shelf. I put the flat (you call them lids?) back on the jar held on with a ring so that I don't have to scrub spiders and dirt when I can next time. Ick for spiders, dead or alive in a jar.

The box pictured is from 1981. Despite 30 years of use, it is still intact. I take good care of I can store the original--toy, jars, small appliances.

It struck me as I took the picture that the box was quite artistic. Maybe the box is not artistic. Maybe I am just sentimental.

By the way, these dozen half-pint jelly jars cost $4.56 in 1981. The price label is still intact. The price of Ball canning jars has doubled.

(Don't you love the design element in my photos? LOL at me. Hey, it was sitting on the washing machine, ready to go on a shelf when I decided to write this post tonight. I quit what I was doing to write.)

Edited: I saw a box of Better Homes and Gardens canning jars in a box like I wanted. But, I want Ball jars. I only use those and Kerr.

Your turn 
Do you remember when canning jars came in cardboard boxes with flaps? Do you miss the convenience of real boxes instead of flimsy cardboard trays when you buy canning jars? Do you use the boxes to store the jars, full or empty?


  1. I don't remember those boxes but that picture is very pretty. What on earth could be royal blue though? LOL! Maybe that was just an artistic touch and not meant to be taken literally?
    I reuse plastic storage tubs for my canning jars. It works out better for me that way because I have hundreds of them it seems. The flimsy boxes they come in went to recycling.

  2. Blueberry?...but not so royal blue? That is the point--old corrugated cardboard boxes are not flimsy like the thin cardboard boxes now.I probably have 200 jars, but some are 2 oz and 4 oz jars for jelly. One year, I sold enough jelly in 4 oz jars amd 8 0z jelly jars to pay for an extra 6 doz of the 4 oz jars. Last year, a guy I don't even know, friend of a friend, just bought quart jars at yard sales and gave them to me. The only thing I can in quarts is tomatoes...only me here!

  3. I also don't use quart jars much for canning but I do use them to store dried foods like dehydrated stuff and open boxes or bags of pasta and rice. They come in handy.

  4. Since we were kindly gifted many of our canning jars from my MIL we lucked out and have boxes with partitions and flaps! it is the way to go for all the reasons you listed. We did buy two boxes of new jars last year. One was some brand I'd never heard from and you'd think I would have known better. They only came on a lidless box tray as you describe. They also don't fit as well in our pressure cooker. I feel the other box DID come in a box. I will have to go down to the basement and investigate the brand when I get home this afternoon.

  5. If you want to store the canned food in the boxes, make a list of what is in each box to cut down on searching. On the top of each canned jar of food I write: Tom 11, meaning that I canned tomatoes in 2011. That way, you keep track of what is the older food. Whatever you do, store the canned food in a really dark place, not just a dimly lit room. The boxes will be dark inside. But, you may prefer to leave jars on shelves. Use the offbrand for storing beans or rice if you want to use them but not for canning. Okay, I will shut up.

  6. Golden Harvest jars still come in boxes, so that's what I've started buying. I get them at Walmart, and they're several dollars per box cheaper than the Mason jars.

    I'm thinking I need to go to a moving company and buy some boxes intended for drinking glasses - they should have ones that fit canning jars.

  7. Canadian, Somehow, I just don't trust Golden Harvest brand which probably shows how silly I am. I was thinking of going to liquor stores to get boxes of the right size for the jars. However, the people giving you boxes don't want you picking over them. They just want you to take them, now! I hadn't thought of moving company boxes. Thanks for the tip. Thanks for reading and commenting.


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