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In general, food bottles have not inspired as much interest from collectors (the source of a large majority of bottle reference books) as other categories.Thus, foods have received a relatively limited amount of research in comparison to the relative commonness of the type.Many solid food bottle/jars also tended to be larger sized bottles since food was (and is) consumed in larger quantities than most other products like medicine or (hopefully) liquor.Of note is the fact that since the preservation of the bottled food products over time was of paramount importance, many food bottles/jars were designed around the closure which was virtually always the primary critical link for long term storage (Toulouse 1969a; Bender 1986).This book is still available new and used at sources like For fruit/canning jars, Alice Creswick's two volume "The Fruit Jar Works" (1987) and Dick Roller's "The Standard Fruit Jar Reference" (1983) are the classics in the field.
Historically, many processes were used to preserve food for the long term including drying, smoking, pickling (like for the cucumber pickles that likely were contained in the ornate bottle to the left), sugaring, salting, alcohol (i.e.
(This was during the Napoleonic War era and was done, not surprisingly, for military reasons.) Appert's experiments with the application of high heat along with the exclusion of air from a sealed container led directly to the development of a canning process in 1809 (and Appert's award of the prize money) that allowed for the relatively long term storage of animal and vegetable products in sealed containers of various materials (Munsey 1970; Roller 1983; Bender 1986; Jones 1993).
Appert's process involved the killing of the bacteria by heating followed by exclusion from further contamination in a sealed container, although the actual scientific reasons as to why the process worked were unknown at the time.
Nicolas Appert who is generally recognized as the father of the canned food industry.
His work was prompted by the offering of a reward in 1795 by the French government (12,000 francs) for a viable food preservation process.
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The incredible variety of fruit/canning jar closures were a prime example of closure importance - a subject discussed later on this page.