Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mason's Improved with a Western R

Andrew sent this picture of a Mason's Improved fruit jar sporting one of those very distinctive western "R's". Andrew reports that the jar was dug from a mid 1880's pit in central California and came out of the ground without any staining (i.e. sparklematic). He was wondering if anyone has seen another Mason's Improved with the western R embossed on it.
I can't recall ever seeing a Mason with a curved R but the R on Andrew's Mason sure looks familiar.... doesn't it?


  1. Andrew,
    Eric McGuire has seen other Mason examples and says that these are western blown jars.

  2. Both SFGW & PGW have ads where they are marketing fruit jars and list Mason patent design jars in among their inventory.

  3. I have removed a few of those from privy deposits over the decades, but never really gave the fact that they have the "western Rs" much consideration. Many of the bottles blown in S.F. during the 1870s and '80s are graced with the R with the outwardly curving leg.

  4. Hey Warren, I know Mason jars were blown in SF, but what makes this jar unusual is the fact that both the glass is western and the mould. I always assumed the western blown Mason's used Eastern moulds or modified Eastern moulds until this example showed up. Have you seen other examples ?

  5. Hey buddy, that's a rare jar. Wait that's the one we dug back in 2008, right? I kind of remember it being more of a fire-aqua?? Maybe it's just the color-tone of this picture.

    I remember the Sierras Bros. saying they've dug 'hundreds of them.' How come I've never seen another example with the curvey-leg? Maybe one day we'll be "professional diggers" too ;)

    Cool write up, R.S.!