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Shoulder Seal vs Bead Seal Half Gallon Jars

Vintage blue half gallon jars are most commonly found in these shapes. The one on the left is called a shoulder seal and the one on the right is called a bead seal. These jars make great vases at wedding receptions because of their height (9"). In contrast, a quart stands around 7" tall and a pint is 5".

Here are the basic differences:

Shoulder Seals
  • sloped "shoulders"
  • Ball's shoulder seals were made from the late 1800's until 1910.
  • glass tends to be more wavy and bubbly
  • more rare

Bead Seals
  • a protrusion of glass around the neck
  • Ball's blue bead seals were made from 1910 until 1937.
  • glass is smooth
  • easier to find
These half gallons stand around 9" tall and have 4.25" base diameter. Both jars take a screw-on lid that fit "regular mouth" jars with a mouth diameter of about 2.5". Don't worry about the jar on the left being a little shorter. I grabbed a short half gallon by mistake. :)