This week, 159 years ago, John Landis Mason, patented the first glass jar with a screw-on cap, which has now affectionately become known as the “Mason jar.” Mason’s famous jar and lid combo was patented on November 30, 1858 (U.S. Patent No. 22186 A).
Why do we have such a profound fondness for our Mason jars? There is no doubt that some Americans are really enamored with the Mason Jar. The nifty little jar even has its own following, with whole communities and clubs dedicated to celebrating the jar’s multitude of uses. Full books have been written on the topic, such as this fine read, Mason Jar Nation: The Jars that Changed America and 50 Clever Ways to Use Them. Just google “Mason Jar Hacks” and you will see hundreds of uses for these jars and find out just how crazy we really are for them! All of us have “that” friend who is guilty of Instagramming her cute little lifestyle jar creations — which again begs the question, why this cult following for what appears to be a simple cylindrical container made of glass?
How One Little Glass Jar Changed the World
Throughout history, humans have sought methods to preserve food. When food was at its scarcest, the success of methods could mean the difference between life or death. We have used various efforts to protect this precious resource from spoiling, such as smoking, drying and even salting for preservation (think: beef jerky all winter long, yuck). Enter John Mason of Philadelphia. He introduced a jar with a metal screw lid, which provided (drum roll please…) an airtight seal.
Why was this so important? Mason provided a safe and consistent method of preserving foods. Because of this, his glass receptacles and lids were a great success. For the first time, people began to preserve valuable fresh fruit and vegetables for use in the winter, such as pickles, green beans, carrots, and more. And the Mason jar became a new celebrated hero.
A Modern 3D-Printed Twist: A Special 3D-Printed Mason Jar Cover
Despite modern day usage of refrigerator and other subsequent preservatives, the good ol’ Mason jar is still very popular. Some of us use it to store dry goods, others to enjoy our morning smoothie on the road.
To celebrate John Landis Mason and his great American invention during this Thanksgiving holiday, Airwolf 3D put a cool new twist on the Mason’s famous old jar. We designed a really neat 3D-printed mason jar cover with a convenient handle for bringing your drink with you wherever you go.
The lid fits a standard-size Mason jar with a wide mouth, 3 inches (76 mm) inner and 3 3/8 inches (86 mm) outer diameter. In this image, we used a quart-sized jar.
The handle is ergonomic and incredibly comfortable to hold for an extended period of time. The lid is also designed with two holes, so that the user can secure a rope for even easier travel! The top of the lid has a hole for a straw and you can 3d print an optional TPU collar to prevent spillage if it falls on it’s side!
Instruction for making your Own 3D-printed Mason Jar Cover
Although you can 3d print this handle in many materials, we recommend making it with PETG or ABS material. PETG is impervious to water and, in professional manufacturing environments, is FDA compliant and is used to make beverage, food, and other liquid containers with injection molders. Airwolf 3D’s new PETG is a perfect alternative to ABS and PLA, offering higher strength, lower shrinkage, and a smoother finish.
If you do use PETG, it does have a higher melting temperature than PLA, so we recommend setting your hot end temperature between 240 and 260 degrees Celsius. Also, don’t forget to use a fan with PETG. This cools the filament in the hot end and can help with retraction.
You will want to keep your retraction speed slow at 30mm/s or less and set your bed temperature at 100 degrees Celsius. No support is needed. Fortunately for you, Wolfpack member Ruben designed this part to be 3D printed without support!
We used Wolfbite to adhere the PETG directly to the heated glass 3D printing surface, so the part would stick while printing. Once the part cools, it will release from the glass and leave a clean and shiny surface for you to look at when sipping your cocktail!
You can download the STL’s for this device here:
So this Thanksgiving holiday, give a round of “cheers” to fellow inventor and awesome tin-smith, John Landis Mason — and share a little jarring trivia with friends and family.