Another firm which was producing the jars early on was the Consolidated Fruit Jar Company, perhaps making them as early as 1859 or 1860.
Questions remain on exactly which companies made these jars during the early years, since the 1858 patent evidently lasted 13 years (or 20 years, counting a patent reissue), and ostensibly during that time period no one was allowed to produce the jars because of patent infringement issues unless they were granted permission by Mason, or the licensed holder of the patent.
The blackglass units are attributed to the Hemingray Glass Company, well-known for their electrical insulators.
Some MASON’S PATENT NOV 30th 1858-type jars are marked with a “Maltese Cross” symbol (which indicates the Hero Glass Works / Hero Fruit Jar Company, of Philadelphia, PA) either above or below the word MASON’S.
On most examples, the letters “H”, “F”, “J” and “Co” can be faintly seen within each “arm” of the cross. This style with the cross underneath the word MASON’S is listed as jar#1939 in the “RED BOOK” of antique and collectible fruit jars often consulted by collectors.
There are other slightly different variants of that jar (this is just one example)!
A considerable percentage have a mold number or letter on the base, a means of identifying the particular mold in use at the factory.
Hero had several other glass companies help fill their orders, (such as Marion Fruit Jar & Bottle Company of Marion, IN and Cumberland Glass Manufacturing Company of Bridgeton, NJ) for these jars (which were extremely popular), so it is difficult to be 100% sure exactly where any particular HFJCo jar was made, although assumedly the majority were produced at their factory in Philadelphia.
Typically, the base of these jars are marked with “PAT NOV 26 67” (Patented November 26, 1867). In general, any jar with the PAT NOV 26 67 marking on the base can be attributed to the Hero Fruit Jar Company.
The “Hero” jars were made over a long time (typically most appear to date from the 1870s to 1890s) and many, many molds were used.
The very first jars with the Nov 30 1858 patent date embossing are to have been made at the “Crowleytown” Glass Works (more accurately the Atlantic Glass Works), located in Washington Township, New Jersey. The “Crowleytown” jars have a more pronounced square shoulder, differing in appearance from the typical later types.
For a very good in-depth discussion of the Crowleytown and nearby glass works, check out .