Protector Fruit Jar

Provenance: Darrell Plank Collection

Our museum specimen of a honey-amber quart Patent Protector Fruit Jar was patented in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 12, 1867, by F. & J. Bodine who was comprised of Frank L. and J. Nixon Bodine. The jar is embossed in a sans-serif copy reading ‘PROTECTOR’ vertically, shoulder to base on one of six sides. The side panel with the embossed copy is recessed, arched, and has beveled sides.

It was called a Patent Protector Fruit Jar because the top could be sealed air-tight and opened and closed without damaging the cover. The jars are typically found in aqua half-gallons, quarts, and pints so our honey-amber glass example is extremely rare.

The Bodine family operated a series of glass companies at two locations in New Jersey starting in 1836 when Joel F. Bodine, a former stage line owner started the Williamstown Glass Works. Bodine brought his three sons, John F., William H., and Joel A. Bodine (also known as J. Alfred), into the firm in 1846, the same year the family purchased the Bridgeton Glass Works. 

Maul, Hebrew & Co. bought the plant from the Bodines in 1855. Maul, Hebrew & Co. was comprised of William Maul, Joseph Borden, and a man named Hebrew. The undertaking failed rather quickly, as the works were offered at public sale by the sheriff the same year. At that point, the Bridgeton Glass Works was taken over by David Potter and Francis l. Bodine. Potter and Bodine were addressed at 107 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1858 selling their Potter & Bodine’s Patent Air-Tight Fruit Jars

See the museum example of a Potter & Bodine’s Air Tight Fruit Jar

The Protector jars used metal lids with arms which turned on the inclines of the neck of the jars and then tightened the rubber onto the ground edge of the jar mouth. The result was a combined lid and clamp, in one piece, that closed or opened the jar with a slight turn, and without injury to the cover. You could do this repeatedly making the container very user-friendly and secure to keep your goods from spoiling. The jars were later made at the Cohansey Glass Manufacturing Company in Philadelphia in the mid-1870s.

The Patent Protector Fruit Jar was advertised in 1868 as being “Always Reliable, They Meet Every Want in A Good Fruit Jar Either for use by Families or Fruit Preservers.” The furnishing and drug store trade was supplied by F. & J. Bodine who were the patentees and manufacturers located at No. 26 South 7th Street in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania. They were also manufacturers of druggist’ and perfumers’ glassware, wine, porter, ale, and mineral water bottles, pickle, preserve, jelly and snuff jars, and particularly patent medicine bottles.

Primary Image: Patent Protector Fruit Jar imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio

Support: Reference to Fruit Jar Annual 2020 – The Guide to Collecting Fruit Jars by Jerome J. McCann

Support: Reference to Red Book #11, the Collector’s Guide to Old Fruit Jars by Douglas M. Leybourne, Jr.

Support: Reference to The Bodine Glass Companies,

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