Atlas Mason Jar Identification and Value Guide

Gain insight into the fundamentals of Atlas Mason jar identification, dating, and valuation to confidently grow your vintage collection.

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An eye-catching cover image featuring the word "Atlas" prominently displayed, surrounded by an array of beautifully designed Atlas Mason jars in various colors and styles, representing the diversity and history of these vintage treasures.

Atlas Mason jars hold a distinct appeal, reflecting a past era and demonstrating the evolution of food preservation methods. As vintage glass containers, they have captured the interest of collectors who appreciate their historical significance and timeless design. This comprehensive beginner’s guide offers an in-depth exploration of Atlas Mason jars, including:

  • Origins
  • Essential identification features
  • Dating methods
  • Factors that influence worth

History of Atlas Mason Jars

Atlas Mason jars were produced by the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company, which was established in 1902 in Washington, Pennsylvania. The company was a merger of two glass manufacturing companies: Hazel Glass Company and Atlas Glass Company. The business thrived during the early 20th century, becoming one of the largest glass manufacturers of Depression glass in the United States.

Atlas Mason jars, renowned for their durability and quality, gained popularity during their production years as homemakers relied on them for canning and preserving food. The company produced a wide range of jars, including the well-known Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason and the Atlas E-Z Seal, which used a lightning-style sealing system. The Hazel-Atlas Glass Company ceased operations in the 1960s, and the jars are a sought-after (and inexpensive) collectible today.

Hallmark Styles

Most Atlas Mason jars have the Atlas name embossed on the front of the jar. In addition, the style of the Atlas hallmark can help you date the jar. The main logo styles are:

Atlas E-Z Seal Mason Jars


Atlas E-Z Seal

The Atlas E-Z Seal jar, produced from the early 1900s to the 1950s, is a popular style among collectors due to its unique lid locking system. The jar has the Atlas name in block letters and the embossed “E-Z Seal,” a design that sets it apart from other Atlas Mason jars.

The Atlas E-Z Seal jars were available in various sizes, including pint, quart, and half-gallon capacities, catering to different storage needs. As for the colors, these jars came in a range of hues, such as clear, aqua, blue, green, and amber. Each color offers different levels of rarity, with clear and aqua being more common, while green and amber are considered rarer and more sought-after by collectors.

Atlas strong shoulder mason jar


Atlas Strong Shoulder

The Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason jar, produced roughly between the 1920s and 1940s, is valued for its unique logo design. The logo showcases block letters that say “Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason.” The jar has a reinforced “strong shoulder” to prevent breakage when sealing, which highlights the technological advancements of the time.

To identify the Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason jar, examine the logo style, shoulder reinforcement, and colors (clear, aqua, blue, green, and amber). Rarer colors such as blue, green, and amber indicate a higher value. The jars were available in pint, quart, and half-gallon sizes.

H-Over-A Atlas Mason Jars


Atlas H-Over-A Trademark Mason

The Atlas H-over-A Mason jar, commonly produced in the 1950s and 1960s, is recognized for its distinct logo, featuring the “Atlas” name in block letters and a capital “H” over a smaller “A” above the word “Mason.” This logo style reflects the design trends and manufacturing techniques of the Mid Century.

To identify the Atlas H over A Mason jar, focus on the unique logo and consider the jar’s color variations (clear, aqua, blue, green, and amber), with rarer colors being more valuable. The jars came in pint, quart, and half-gallon sizes.

How to Identify and Date Atlas Mason Jars

Properly identifying and dating an Atlas Mason jar is essential for determining its value and historical significance. To determine the age of an Atlas Mason jar, consider the following factors:

Closure Types

Atlas Mason jars have two primary closure types: the screw-top and the lightning seal. The screw-top jars have a threaded band that holds a metal lid in place. The lightning seal jars have a wire bail and glass lid, which clamps down to create an airtight seal. Screw-top jars were more common after the 1920s, while lightning seal jars were produced earlier.

Observe the lid and closure mechanism of the jar. Over the years, there may have been slight changes in the design or material of the lids and wire bails. Comparing your jar’s lid and closure to known examples from different time periods may help you date the jar more accurately.

Condition and Markings

The overall condition of the jar can offer clues about its age. Older jars may show signs of wear, such as scratches, chips, or fading. However, this is not a definitive indication, as a well-preserved jar can still be quite old.

Examine the jar’s base for any manufacturing marks, such as mold seams. Since Atlas Mason jars were machine-made rather than hand-blown, they typically have visible seams resulting from the production process. The prominence of these seams can provide some insight into the manufacturing techniques.

Glass Color

Atlas Mason jars were produced in various colors, including clear, aqua, blue, green, and amber. The color of the glass can also help you determine the age and rarity of the jar, as some colors are rarer and more valuable than others. Clear jars were more common in the 1930s and later, while colored jars (aqua, blue, green, and amber) were produced earlier.

While it is true that certain colors of Atlas mason jars may be more vibrant or saturated depending on the production period, it is not a definitive rule. Factors such as manufacturing techniques, raw materials, and the specific glass batch can impact the color of the jars.

However, it is generally observed that older jars, particularly those produced in the early 20th century, tend to have a more saturated aqua or blue color. This is because the glass-making process and materials used at the time often resulted in more vibrant colors.

Mold Marks and Numbers

Mold numbers on Hazel Atlas Mason jars were used by the manufacturer to identify specific molds or production runs. These numbers can typically be found on the jar’s base and usually consist of one or more digits. However, mold numbers alone do not provide definitive information about the jar’s production date, as they were not systematically assigned based on production years.

In addition to mold numbers, Hazel Atlas Mason jars often have a logo embossed on the bottom. The most recognizable Hazel Atlas logo is the capital letter “H” with a smaller capital letter “A” inside, forming a distinctive monogram. The presence of this logo on a jar can help confirm its origin as a Hazel Atlas product. However, keep in mind that variations of the logo may exist, and other markings or logos could also be present, depending on the specific production period and factory location.

Occasionally, the bottom of an Atlas Mason jar may have no markings or logos, which could indicate a reproduction, a less-common manufacturing variation, or simply that the markings have worn off over time.

Values of Atlas Mason Jars

The value of an Atlas Mason jar depends on factors such as rarity, age, color, and condition. Rarer colors, like green and amber, typically command higher prices, while clear and aqua jars are more common and less valuable. Older jars and those in excellent condition are also more valuable.

Properly dating an Atlas Mason jar is essential for determining its value and historical significance. To determine the age of an Atlas Mason jar, consider the following factors:

Reference Chart

Jar TypeAge RangeValue Range
Atlas E-Z Seal1900s-1950sClear: $5 – $15
Aqua: $10 – $25
Blue: $15 – $35
Green: $20 – $60
Amber: $50 – $100
Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason1920s-1940sClear: $5 – $15
Aqua: $10 – $25
Blue: $15 – $35
Green: $20 – $60
Amber: $50 – $100
Atlas H over A Mason1950s-1960sClear: $5 – $15
Aqua: $10 – $25
Blue: $15 – $35
Green: $20 – $60
Amber: $50 – $100
*Note that the values provided in the table are approximate and can vary depending on the specific jar and its condition. The value of a jar can also be influenced by factors such as regional demand, collector interest, and market trends.

Reproduction Warning

Reproductions of Atlas Mason jars are not very common, but they do exist. Unlike some other vintage items that have been widely reproduced, the market for reproduction Atlas Mason jars is relatively small. This is mainly due to the availability of authentic jars and the fact that reproductions may not have the same appeal to collectors as genuine vintage jars.

Reproductions may have inconsistencies in the logo, lettering style, or embossing quality when compared to authentic jars. Additionally, the glass thickness, color, and mold seams might differ from the original jars. To ensure accuracy in distinguishing genuine jars from reproductions, consult reference books, collector’s guides, or experts in the field of vintage Mason jars.

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