So why Muncie, IN? Muncie was an attractive site because they needed natural gas in the production of the glass, and therefore they moved the company in the late 1800's.
In my opinion, Ball State University is really the heart of Muncie. A lot of my friends' parents were employed at Ball State, my mom included. Not to mention, football games, the "village", and homecoming gave us stuff to do. And everyone I knew was born in Ball Hospital, including yours truly!
Ball Corporation officially moved their headquarters to Broomfield, CO in the late 1990's. My uncle has spent his entire career working for Ball Corp, starting in Muncie, and then moving to Colorado. My grandpa tells me that Ball Corp is now one of the largest manufacturers of cans in the world (next to Coca Cola)...pretty impressive. My uncle still works for Ball Corp today!
I was surprised to find out that if you have questions about an old Ball jar that you have found, and want to know what it is worth, you still direct questions to Muncie! You would contact the Minnetrista Cultural Center at 1200 North Minnetrista Pkwy., Muncie, IN 47303. A fun fact that I found through researching the Ball Family, was that Minnetrista was given its name by the two Ball sisters. Minnetrista literally comes from the Indian word minne for “water” and the old English word tryst for “agreed meeting place.” One of the Ball brothers built his house on the site that is now the Minnestrista Cultural Center (the original house was torn down).
Recently, Justin and I took a trip to Northern IN to visit his family. Out in the country we came across a tin shed filled with antiques. Most of the merchandise was glass, china, or old cigar boxes. I of course stopped at the collection of Ball jars. I love the blue Ball jars, but rarely can find them...although Ebay, Etsy, and other online merchandising sites have a lot of listings. I like to see mine in person before I purchase. I purchased two for $2, including the old zinc lids. I love the bubbles and little imperfections you find in the glass.
My plan is to display Ball jars on my new console in the kitchen nook. But I also plan on using one vintage Ball jar to make a soap dispenser.
Here's how to do it...
You will need: one vintage ball jar with a 1 piece zinc lid, an old plastic hand soap pump, a drill with a hole bit, scissors or Exacto knife
Before you begin...empty the soap bottle you will be using. I just invert the bottle into the jar, and it is usually totally empty when I've drilled the hole in the lid.
1. Cut a hole in the center of the zinc lid. Make sure it is big enough to fit the size of the pump insides.
2. Next, cut off the top of the screw piece on the top of the old plastic hand soap pump. Careful...you don't want to cut yourself!
3. Fit the screw neck into the hole of the zinc lid.
6. Screw the lid, and all of its parts back on the jar!
It's so simple. Plus, I think it's so sweet and charming next to my sink. It's a little ode to my roots...and I love it!
Other uses for ball jars (some are more obvious uses than others)...
What will you use your Ball jars for?