Grandma’s Jars and Tattler Lids

When I was a little girl I remember eating some of my grandma’s pickled peaches.  They were so good when they were ice cold, straight out of the fridge.  They were spiced with cloves and a cinnamon stick, juicy and sticky and delicious.  I would plunge a fork into the jar and spear one of those whole pickled peaches, then I would eat it right off the fork – popsicle style!     Antique Ball Canning Jars

Now I have some of those jars.  I inherited them from my father years ago when I didn’t realize how precious they were.  These aren’t the ones you can buy from Ball right now that are colored blue.  No, these are blue because of the manufacturing process and the sand used back when these jars were made, the first two from 1910-1923 and the last one from 1923-1933.  If you have any old canning jars and would like to know the approximate date of it’s manufacture, click HERE. A gentleman by the name of Bob Clay put together this chart below and a lot more information about the process and ingredients of Ball canning jars. You should check out his site – it is very interesting!

Dating Canning Jars chart

Of course, I won’t ever use them for canning! They are just too dear to me.

I also received this wonderful glass canning funnel that my grandmother on my mother’s side used.  Antique Glass Funnel I was looking at it last week and was teasing my son that this was one of those “bottomless coffee cups” that some diners advertise.  He laughed, but had a quizzical look on his face just the same.  He must have thought it was some kind of souvenir cup or one that a prankster would use!

Last week I finally broke down and bought some canning jars.  I had to because I had so many peaches and plums that needed to be made into jams and butters, but I had only a few jars to my name.  I did some online shopping and found that Tractor Supply had the cheapest ones, so I planned to make a trip to my local store the next day.  First I had to buy some groceries because, though I am not Mother Hubbard, my cupboards were bare! Lo and behold, there at my favorite grocery store was a large supply of canning jars – on sale!  They were cheaper than even Tractor Supply!  I bought a dozen each of the pint and half-pint sizes!  I probably should have purchased more, but I’m stepping into canning one toe at a time!

Tattler reuseable canning lidsThen, as if the heavens were pouring good tidings upon me, I found the deal of the century!  My son, Michael, and I went to Chico Natural Foods (a wonderful store that has a bit of just about everything) and ran across some Tattler lids, on clearance, tucked away on a bottom shelf.  I looked at the price and there it was, but I couldn’t believe my eyes!  Of course, I didn’t have my glasses on, so I really couldn’t believe my eyes!   😉               My son, who’s eyes are much better than mine (thank goodness for that, I’m as blind as a bat) verified the price of $5.99!

Here's Proof!

Here’s Proof!

Yes, $5.99 for a dozen Tattler lids and rubber rings!  Heavens to Betsy!  I have been investigating these and have seen prices ranging from $9.99 to $16.99. Have you found any Tattler lids for less?  Please, if you have, show your love for humanity and share your source!  But, since I have never canned with them before, I was afraid to get more than the one box because I didn’t know if I would like them.  I tried them out last week when I made plum butter and all of the lids sealed.  Then a few days ago I made some peach jam.  Again, all of the lids sealed.  I think I’m going to like these Tattler lids, especially since the box says they can be re-used indefinitely!  So, I called my son and had him run down to Chico Natural Foods and buy me another set of lids.  Luckily there were still some there!  When I get more comfortable using them I may purchase some more.  Right now I will stick to using them only for acid foods that go in the water bath canner – just in case.  Unlike the metal lids where the center audibly pops and is concave when sealed, the only way you can tell a Tattler lid is sealed is by the inability to remove the cap and rubber ring with a reasonable amount of even pulling!  But what if you think the lid is sealed but it’s only stuck because some stick food stuck it there!!??  Gaaakkk!!!

I want to can some green beans and salmon next week (wish me luck) and I will use the old tried and true metal lids – just to be safe.

If any of you have used Tattler lids before, let me know if you like (or don’t) them in a comment below.  Are they really able to be used indefinitely?  Do you have a problem telling if they are really sealed or not?  Do you have any tips or tricks using the Tattler lids? I welcome all the help I can get, so thank you in advance!


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52 thoughts on “Grandma’s Jars and Tattler Lids

    • Good evening, Wendy! Aren’t they beautiful! They have been packed away for safekeeping, but what good are they if they aren’t seen? So, I think I will leave them out on display. Thanks for reading my story!

  1. Hey Vickie,
    The Tattler lids sounds awesome, I’ve heard of reusable lids but didn’t know anything about any particular brand, or of anyone who used them. I’ll be eager to hear the results 🙂

    • I’m not so sure about them yet, myself. So far, so good, but then I’ve only canned plum butter and peach jam. We’ll see when it comes to other things, like pasta sauce. I will let you know how it goes! Thanks Jon.

  2. I tried the tattler reusable lids for the first time earlier this year. I blogged about them at It includes monthly follow-ups on whether the seals are holding or not.
    I love them! They worked great with my water bath canning (which I blogged about), and since then I have also used them in the pressure canner to can chicken stock and had all 5 jars seal with no problems at all. I recently ordered a bunch of them for this canning season and have started canning tomatoes this week using them. So far I’ve had all of the jars seal with the tomatoes.
    I think one very important thing to note with them is that you can’t just use them exactly the same as the old style, you must follow the directions exactly on the package.
    If I could get them for $5.99 a dozen I would buy 100! Can you go get them and ship them to me? 😉 Ha-ha.
    Hope you enjoy your canning adventure and trying out the reusable lids. 🙂

    • Thank you for directing me over to your blog post about the Tattler lids. I am so glad that you like them, because I think I am going to like them also! I think it’s great that you are recording their effectiveness every month. I wonder if you could leave at least one jar indefinitely to see just how long the seal will last!!?? I think I am going to send my son back to that little store to see if there are any lids left and if there are, to buy the last of them! Of course, after this post, I’m sure there won’t be any left!

  3. Hi Vicky – Continue to love your blog. My time is limited, but everyday I check facebook to see whats up with dtr and your blog with my coffee. Thanks so much for your effort and uplifting, educational banter. See you Sat.

    • Hello, Linda!
      Can’t wait to see you again! This meeting should be interesting, to say the least! Thanks for reading my posts – glad you like them 😀

  4. Hi! I found you on one of the blog hops today. =D Thought I’d say hi and follow you but don’t see a way to follow you…. so I’ll just say hi!

    I remember mom canning when I was a kid. We had a garden that was huge (at least a mile wide and long LOL). I hated gardening! and pulling weeds! You are so lucky to have lots of peaches to make jam or pickled peaches which I’ve never heard of. Hope you got them all canned.

    Enjoy them! Would love a visit back on my blog if you’re looking for something new to read between canning batches… See ya there!

    • Tiinaj,
      Up on the right hand side toward the top is a subscription box for e-mail, or you can go to my facebook page.
      The peaches came from my son’s tree! He had a bountiful crop this year and has been giving them away to anyone who would take them! He and his family are all “peached” out right now! LOL
      I slid on over to your site just now – beautiful web page! I love it when normal people review books because I get a better idea if I would enjoy it or not. Keep up the good work.

  5. don’t remember exactly what i paid for my tattler lids but i ordered 12 doz directly from tattler over the computer when they were having a limited time sale on the web site and i thought at the time that using them 3 time each would about equal buying the metal lids (can’t remember if that included the shipping)

    • Julie,
      Yes, I heard that sometimes they have a sale!? I hope to catch their next one because I need wide mouth lids and the natural food store only had regular ones! I suppose that with the price I bought them, they would only need to be used two or three times to make them worthwhile! Sounds pretty good to me!

    • You might also check out the link I provided in the post, because you can get a better idea of the jar’s age from some other markings on the jars and the guy who wrote this explains everything! His history of Ball mason jars is very fascinating, especially about having to use a different type of glass during, I think, World War 2. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I love your grandmother’s jars – I also have a few of my grandmothers jars but they’re not the blue ones like yours. They’re precious to me, as was my grandmother! I was so excited to find tattler lids last year (don’t remember what I paid for them) But I’ve not really had to do much canning yet. I’m freezing or dehydrating most of what’s coming out of the garden these days. I’ve read rave reviews on them and the fact that they can be reused is the reason I got them to pacify the environmental bend in me, but I was nervous since that subtle “ping” is what I love to hear when canning. I’ll be giving them a try soon and I’ll be watching comments to see what others are saying about them. (Visiting from the ‘From The Farm’ Blog Hop)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

    • Tammy, I will be watching for other comments as well about the Tattler lids. From what I hear, you either love them or hate them. I wonder if we all got so used to the metal kind that the “new-ness” of the tattler lids is all that makes us uncomfortable. Afterall, we were taught that the “ping” and a concave lid is what assured us there was a good seal. I wish there was some indicator like that for the Tattler lids. So, I guess only time will tell on this one.

  7. I love your blog! I remember my grandmother canning with those jars. And I have such fond memories of canning myself. I always felt like I was a mother squirrel stashing and storing away treats for my family throughout the winter.

    I am a new follower from the Blog hop. I would love it if you would follow me back at:
    Also I have started a new Website (shop) called Postcards In The Attic. It has been
    a little bit of a challenge to get traffic to it so if you could stop by and show it some
    love I would greatly appreciate it:
    Have a blessed day

    • Colleen – glad to help out! I will slide over to your blog today! Thanks for stopping by to read mine. I hope to hear from you again soon!

  8. Hi! I just hopped over from the Farm Blog Hop. I have been using Tattlers for a few years and love them. I have used some of them over 5 or 6 times and only ever had one seal fail. Later, I discovered it failed because I had unknowingly put two of the red rings on the same jar (they are very thin). I have used them in the pressure canner with no problems. I do use metal lids when making jams, jellies, or anything I might give away, since people usually don’t remember to return the lids.

    I love the blue jars. Thanks for the information.

    • Vicki – Oh thank you so much for that information! Yes, I think I will always include one or two metal lids in each batch of jam or jelly that I make, especially if I think I may be giving some away. I plan to try out the pressure canner with the Tattler lids soon – hopefully in a few days. Thanks!

    • I use tattlers but so far have only used them once – put them on things that I know i won’t be giving away, like home canned dried beans or green beans or tomato sauce. I had one of the dried bean cans fail and I think the culprit was the double ring issue – as I counted the rings then came up one short when I was at the end. I thought I had miscounted but I could easily have put two on one jar. oh, well, we put that jar into soup and nothing was lost!

      • Wow, so far it seems the biggest problem with Tattler lids is the double ring issue! I guess I need to learn from others to make sure there is only one ring per lid! Glad you were able to make soup with your beans and that you didn’t lose anything!

    • Greetings, Sandra. I think I am going to like Tattlers also, but the jury is still out. However, I do not plan to actually use them on my grandmother’s jars. From what I have read, these jars are not as stable as the ones manufactured today, and I certainly don’t want them to break! Thanks for your opinion, I really appreciate it!

  9. Hi Vickie,
    Your canning jars are beautiful! Love the chart for determining the age of your jars 🙂

    I’ve used the Tattler lids and had some issues with them. I tried to follow the instructions exactly, but something must have gone wrong because I had many batches that didn’t seal well. Some didn’t seal and I didn’t know until much later and I saw mold in the jars. So I’ve returned to using the metal lids for the most part. I hope you have much better luck than I did!

    Thanks for sharing on The Creative Home & Garden!

    • Lisa Lynn,
      Thank you for telling me about your luck with the Tattler lids, and that is exactly what I am nervous about! I want to pressure can some vegetables and meats, but if you can’t be certain of the seal, how do you know you don’t have botulism!!! I think at this point I am going to stick to the metal lids for pressure canning – testing one or two jars here and there using the Tattler lids.

  10. I have some of the vintage blue jars and I love them! Wonderful to have those that were your grandmothers. I have never heard of pickled peaches. I bet they were delicious! I did not know that you could still buy Tattler lids. Must confess, I didn’t know that’s what they were called. I am sure that was a fabulous price! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • Until I found the post linked to in my blog, I wasn’t sure how old these jars really were. In fact, I didn’t think they were as old as they are! Those pickled peaches were wonderful – whole peaches (peeled, but with pits still in) studded with cloves and I believe a stick of cinnamon in the jar. Cover with syrup and then water bath. This is what she would do with the smaller peaches – easy but delicious!

  11. Love the vintage jars – I have never heard of Tattler – will file this away for future use – do we ever have enough jars! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

    • No, apparently we never have enough jars. But then I also need more space to store them! I guess this will be a never ending battle until our new house is built, with a basement and a root cellar! As far as the Tattler lids – so far the batch of peach jam I canned a couple of weeks ago (5 1/2 pints) still have good seals!

  12. Hello, I wanted to share that your post will be featured in this week’s Home and Garden Thursday – I appreciate you sharing,

    • Yes – the Tattler lids. I started hearing about them a few years ago when it was revealed that the metal lids had BPA on them. I’m sure the BPA problem has been resolved by now, but once I knew there was an alternative, I was excited to see how they would work. It just seems so much more self-sufficient and eco-friendly to use a jar lid over and over again, rather than the once and done metal ones. Thanks for your input!

    • Lynn,
      Yes, Ball has brought back blue jars! Of course, they aren’t quite the exact same color as the old ones…… and rightfully so! Even the jars I have seem to display just the slightest bit of variation in their color. I think I am going to set a long table with them right down the middle filled with flowers! Wouldn’t that be beautiful?

    • Thank you, Kathy. You are right, they just don’t make ’em like they used to. BTW, sorry about Brutus. When I read your post it made me so sad! He was such a beautiful rooster and I hope you get a definite answer as to his demise.

  13. I’ve enjoyed reading your site. I wanted to join in on the Tattler lid comments. I started an experiment 3 years ago to see how well and how long they’ll hold a seal. I used them in the pressure canner and also in the water-bath canner. So far, all jars I did (that I haven’t opened yet) are still sealed tight. I think they’re a great, money-saving lid.
    Thanks for the Ball chart. Interesting to see the different years.

    • I just canned some spaghetti sauce using the Tattler lids, 3 good seals, 1 fail. I call that a success because nothing was lost – we will just have spaghetti tomorrow for dinner! In hindsight, I think it was my fault because I forgot to tighten the band ring right after taking the jars out of the canner. So, at this point I believe the lids are going to work out just fine! Thanks, Karen, for letting me know about your experience with them!

  14. I`m learning so much about canning, after reading this post, and the one about canning beef. I recently did my first water bath for beets. Just to be in the safe side, I put then in the refrigerator because one lid did not closed properly. I slice then 1/8 inch, and only got 3 jars, 8 onz ea. I need to buy a complete set of jars, and a real pressure canner. I`m linking to my blog so you can read about my experience. Now I`m going to read the one about beets, that I just saw. Thank you.

    • I am so glad you have found the posts to be helpful! Don’t worry if one of your jars does not seal – it happens. Just keep the one that didn’t seal in the fridge and eat it within a few days. The others, if the lid is stuck on tight and the metal lid is concave, are fine. Sometimes just a speck of food on either the rim of the jar or on the red sealant on the lid can prevent a jar from sealing. I assume your beets were pickled? If they weren’t, then they might not be safe, because beets are low acid foods and need to be pressure canned unless you have added enough acid to them (usually vinegar when pickled). I will go over and check out your post – thanks for providing the link. Have a wonderful weekend!