So we all love us some vintage aqua Ball jars, yeah?
Like seriously adore that perfect shade of aqua and their galvanized zinc lids. I want to marry them.
I thought it might be interesting to share a bit of my history as it collided with those jars because, well, I have connections.
I didn’t recognize my connections until my adult life. Growing up with my mom storing everything in them from vintage buttons on her sewing table to beans and elbow macaroni in the pantry, those lovelies were just part of my upbringing. (pic from my old blog)
I didn’t really appreciate them until I had a family of my own and mostly out from under the demands of nursing babies and homeschooling. You know, when I could actually spend some time decorating the digs instead of wiping noses and cleaning the digs….
(circa 2001, with a 16 year old at one end, a 2 week old at the other and lots of kiddos in between)
Connection #1: When I graduated high school in Noblesville IN, I went off in high hopes as a vocal performance major to Ball State University in Muncie IN. Did ya know those Ball boys had a college named after them?….incoming indoctrinees were told the Ball bro’s gave the city the teaching college as a gift back in the day. My husband and I spent our first 3 years of married life on that campus, and my sister also graduated from Ball State with a teaching degree. It’s still considered one of the best teacher colleges in the country. As a kid, my family actually lived in Muncie for a few years right next to Ball State U and my brother was born at Ball Memorial Hospital!
Connection #2: Fast forward to the turn of the millenia, and my uncle is named President and CEO of Alltrista (dropped both the ‘B’ from Ball and the “Minne” from the street name ‘Minnetrista’ the Balls lived on in Muncie)…which aquired the Ball Co. Their consumer products business sold home canning and related products, primarily under the Ball®, Kerr®and Bernardin®brands.
And yet, I wasn’t hording those seaglass-like beauties yet. I was still drowing in dried milk-stained blouses and grammar worksheets.
Too late for an ‘in’ I suppose. I’m not sure they’re even in Muncie anymore. *shrug*
By the time I decided I was in serious love with vintage Ball jars, I couldn’t find them easily. I’d pick up a chipped one separated from its lid at a thrift store now and then, but that’s it. The big ones, the really old ones were seriously out of reach. ‘Round these parts (I live an hour or so north of Muncie now), a decent aqua gallon size jar with an original lid will run ya $40 or more.
My brother, a resident of Nashville TN and the aforementioned babe who entered the world at Ball Memorial, picks ’em up for me for a mere $10 at their world famous Flea Market.
If you’re ever in central Indiana, and you want to know more about the Ball family and their glassy offspring, it might be worth your time to visit the Minnestrista Cultural Center:
“Minnetrista, “a gathering place by the water,” takes its name from the original F.C. Ball home that once stood on this site. This name applies now more than ever as Minnetrista keeps this name alive through programming, workshops, and exhibits.” (from their site)
Now that my Mom is gone, my sis and I are splitting her collection. But their value to me will be far more than just pretty eye candy for my vintage-loving heart. They’ll represent a childhood hometown, baby brothers, college years and early married life, extended family connections no longer nearby, and the humble service they rendered to my mother as they stored the raw materials of homemaking.
I love when something I collect has real meaning….and now you all know why vintage aqua blue Ball canning jars are one of my LOVES. They will always play a prominent role in my decor because they play a prominent roll in my life and history as a Hoosier from central Indiana.
So it’s like we really are married.
Do you have significant connections to vintage items you collect? Do tell….