When thinking of a jar, often people picture a rigid, cylindrical, or near cylindrical, container with a removable seal at the top.  Yet, the jar has been in continuous use since ancient times for various purposes from storage to decorations. Today, the tradition continues, along with a massive variety of use. In this article, we list just a few of the most popular types of jars from history.

Weck Jar

The Weck jar was invented by a German company called J. WECK and is still widely used in the country today typically for jam preservation. It makes use of a reusable rubber ring and a glass lid for sealing purposes. Interestingly, the position of the rubber’s “tongues” can inform onlookers about the condition of the seal.

Mason Jar

This prolific molded glass jar was invented by John L. Mason in the 1850s and continues to be one of the most commonly used jars for the home today. Popularly known as a glass canning jar (due the main material used), Ball jars (named after the famous corporation that mass produces them) or fruit jars (due to the content they contain) are three types of Mason jars you’re likely to encounter.  

The lid is often made of metal or glass and is sealed with a screw-on ring. Though the production of these jars is gradually being reduced to make way for more efficient models, antique mason jars are now highly sought after by many collectors worldwide.

The Leyden Jar

As the forerunner to the modern capacitor, the Leyden jar, invented by Ewald Georg von Kleist, was used to store electricity for a period in the 18th century. It became known as the “Leyden” jar thanks to Pieter van Musschenbroek (who belonged to Leyden), who developed it independently in 1745. The jar has also been utilized been in many experiments. 

The Kilner Jar

Another type of jar commonly found in the kitchen is the Kilner jar, which was developed and subsequently mass-produced by John Kilner & Co in Yorkshire, England. This jar features a metal screw top and a rubber seal, resulting in an effective airtight closure. 

They are most commonly used for storing food items, such as jam or jelly, or anything that requires a supremely tight sealing.

The Cookie Jar

Any jars that store sweets, biscuits or any other type of snack are collectively called cookie jars. The container has become famous in pop culture, often appearing as a metaphorical aspect of a person’s desire that remains unreachable.  The most common choice of material for this type of jar is ceramic, but glass and clay can be used as well.  Since they are often placed out in the open, such as on the kitchen shelf or dining table, cookie jars are designed with many decorative characteristics. 

Decorative jars

Finally, there are some jars not used for preserving or storing anything, but rather purely for decorative purposes. Often they are made of ceramic, glass or stainless steel and are accompanied by many ornate features. Some may even contain other decorative items for a greater aesthetic element.