DUPRS_0048 - Consolidate Fruit Jar Company Lid

Dublin Core


DUPRS_0048 - Consolidate Fruit Jar Company Lid


Milk-Glass Jar Insert


This is a round, flat, white piece of milk glass with two consecutive rings outside of it with the inscription ‘Consolidated Fruit Jar Company, New York’ around the outermost ring. It is about 3.5 inches in diameter. The center circle has a symbol on it and the writing, rings, and symbol are all raised.
It is a circle of milky, opal-colored glass, 6.5 mm in diameter. 2 outer concerntric rings surrounding a center circle of 3mm in diameter. Center circle has raised marker’s mark and the outermost circle has ‘Consolidated Fruit Jar Company, New York’ pressed on it. Underside has a number ‘12’ pressed into it and one outer concentric circle of 1mm surrounding inner circle of 5.5mm diameter. It was used to separate the fruit and the metal closures in canned fruit jars to make the fruit more ‘sanitary’.


The Consolidated Fruit Jar Company


Selective Surface collection, east Stanley Park, Historic Chatham Township (modern Summit, New Jersey)


Drew University, Department of Anthropology, Drew University Passaic River Survey




Aisha Arain




The Consolidated Fruit Jar Company operated out of New Brunswick, NJ between 1871 and 1908. It was owned by Lewis R. Boyd, who is most famous for the patent of this object which is a white milk-glass insert for zinc screw lids on hand-blown glass jars that was used to keep food from coming in contact with the metal so that it would preserve for longer. During 1871 and 1885 companies used outside contractors to make their lid-liners following a large factory fire. This type of glass lid-liner was patented in 1869 by Louis R. Boyd. Lewis R. Boyd and his company – The Sheet Metal Screw Company – patented a white ‘milk-glass’ insert for zinc screw lids to theoretically lessen the chances that food would come in contact with metal in 1869. Boyd became a partner in the Consolidated Fruit Jar Company in 1871, which was based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This company contracted out with many other companies to produce their mason jars, a very popular item at the time. They stopped being manufactured around 1885, and the company went out of business in 1908.
Since the glass lid dates from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, it could mean that this area of the Passaic River was in use at this time, unless the lid drifter downstream from another site, but this in unlikely since the jar top was found buried. Since the lid would have been on some sort of food product, it could indicate that this area was a popular picnic spot of the late 1800s, as it is today, or that this area was lived in and the jar lid was a commonplace item in a home of this time. Since this part of the Passaic River is on the outskirts of New York City, perhaps Madison was a popular weekend spot for New Yorkers during this time period to get out of the city, relax, and picnic. The presence of this object helps us to date possible settlements near the Passaic River and supports the hypothesis of this area being a lower class area. These jars were mass produced and relatively inexpensive. It also implies that instead of a housing barrack for just male workers, that women and children might have lived here.


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The Consolidated Fruit Jar Company , “DUPRS_0048 - Consolidate Fruit Jar Company Lid ,” Drew University Library Special Collections, accessed March 3, 2024, http://omeka.drew.edu/items/show/702.