For the love of ‘Ball blue’

I am smitten with aqua…

Any shade of aqua. Anything from turquoise to jade or from Tiffany Blue to my newest favorite, ‘Ball blue’ makes my heart go pitter patter.

And it turns out that I’m not the only one. From their humble beginnings Ball blue fruit jars are still being sought after today not only by antique jar collectors, but also by the modern bride.

To fully appreciate them–you need to know a bit of history behind them.

Glass canning jars with screw down–and for the first time reusable– lids were invented by John Mason in 1858. This is why glass jars are often referred to as “mason” jars. It is said that the invention of canning is the invention that single-handedly saved the pioneers.

The famous blue fruit jars were manufactured by the Ball company. This company, owned by six Ball brothers was originally set up in Buffalo, but after a tragic fire–moved to Muncie, Indiana. The city lured the Ball brothers by offering free land and natural gas, but that wasn’t all. The locale also had one other drawing card–it’s sand. The clean sand deposits in Muncie is what gave the Ball jars their distinctive blue color. The sand came from a large deposit that was over 200 feet tall that the locals referred to as the “Hoosier Slide”. Before the “Hoosier Slide” was used for glass making, it was a tourist destination, and was even host to a wedding or two. After yielding thirteen and a half million tons of sand, the “Hoosier Slide” was leveled and no longer exists.

Then, in 1937 the production of Ball blue jars stopped. 1937. This means that any Ball blue jars that exist are at least 73 years old. At least.

This is where it gets interesting.

The humble Ball blue jars have become très chic for wedding decor now days. You can find bridal forums where newly minted wives are selling the blue jars from their wedding to an bride eager to decorate her wedding with them. There are companies that create hanging lanterns to adorn outdoor weddings, and they even catch the eye of wedding bloggers such as this one. And for the fashionista bride on a budget, there are sites like this to demonstrate how to make a faux blue jar. All this for a blue jar. A blue jar.

But that’s the appeal even after 73 years. There’s really no color like Ball blue.

Photos (clockwise starting in the upper left): A sneak peek at our bathroom makeover inspired by a few ‘Ball blue’ jars in my collection. / I love to use blue jars as impromptu vases. / A vintage blue pint jar holds apothecary items. / A blue quart jar resides above my sink to catch corks saved for the unknown future craft project. / I’m so excited about the succulents I found at Sherbondy’s to complete my bathroom decor.

One Response to “For the love of ‘Ball blue’”
  1. sherrilee says:

    I have some ball blue jars in my bathroom too 🙂 (and dining room!!)
    I would love to see photos of your bathroom remodel!

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