New Gallon-sized Jairy jarsBy

New Gallon-sized Dairy Jars

One-gallon glass dairy jars resembling pre-1940 originals have been made in India for an American importer.

One jar is marked with the name Guilford Dairy; the other is Ka-Vee Ice Cream Co. Both are names of actual dairies that are now out of the retail dairy business. A vintage Ka-Vee one gallon jar can sell for $150 and higher. The new jars wholesaled for $16 each.

Each jar has both molded and printed markings. Molded markings include volume, fill lines and glass manufacturers' trademarks. All printed markings are in red pyroglazed lettering ("pyroglaze" refers to the ink which is permanently set by heating). Printed marks include company names, deposit information, phone numbers and product lines.

Peter and Trish Manfredi of the National Association of Milk Bottle Collectors said one of the most obvious clues to the new jars is the metal lid. "New jars come with flat metal tops. Original gallon jars had cardboard or heavy paper closures in their mouths, larger versions of the insert-type closures used in quart-sized milk bottles," said Trish.

The Manfredi's also point out that very few dairies used one-gallon glass jars. Although size by itself is not a sign of a reproduction, it is reason enough to conduct a particularly thorough inspection.

Any inspection of the new jars shows obvious bubbles and streaks throughout the glass. These kinds of flaws are rarely found in glass used in vintage milk bottles and jars. Remember, original dairy jars and bottles were meant to be used again and again. They had to withstand daily use in customers' homes and survive industrial cleaning–usually with live steam–back at the bottling plant. Poorly made low quality glass with internal flaws would break apart under such use.

Like many other glass reproductions coming from India, these new dairy jars include molded trademarks of American glass companies. The Ka-Vee jar, for example, has the trademark of the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. embossed in the base (Fig. 6).

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Fig. 1 New Guilford Dairy one-gallon glass dairy jar with wire handle and metal lid. Red lettering front and back.

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Fig. 2 New Ka-Vee Ice Cream Co. one-gallon glass dairy jar with wire handle and metal lid. Red lettering front and back.

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Fig. 3 New glass dairy jars are fitted with metal lids which are painted brown. Original closures on the great majority of vintage glass jars and bottles used for milk and cream were made of cardboard, not metal.

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Fig. 4 Detail of markings on the reverse side of new Ka-Vee jar shown in Fig. 2. The vintage phone and two-digit phone number suggest a pre-1940 era. All markings are in red.

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Fig. 5 Detail of markings on the reverse of the new Guilford jar in Fig. 1. All markings are in red.

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Fig. 6 The new Ka-Vee jar has molded trademark of the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. on the base. It is very crude and blurred, but still identifiable.