Monday, December 09, 2013

Canning Time!

The Ball Brothers "Canning Time" was on air in 1931. I happened upon their schedule but know little more than that it was a 15-minute short that aired twice a week on the following times and stations:
WORC - Worcester, MA - 11:15 - Wed/Fri
WGY - Schenectady, NY - 12:15 - Thu/Fri
WLW - Cincinnati, OH - 8:15 - Mon/Fri
WSB - Atlanta, GA - 8:45 - Wed/Fri
WLS - Chicago, IL - 1:00 - Tue/Fri
KWK - St. Louis, MO - 11:15 - Wed/Fri
KSTP - St. Paul, MN - 12:30 - Mon/Wed
WIBW - Topeka, KS - 11:15 - Wed/Fri
WBAP - Ft. Worth, TX - 9:45 - Mon/Thu
KOA - Denver, CO - 11:30 /1:00 - Mon/Wed
KSL - Salt Lake City, UT - 7:00 - Wed/Fri
KHQ - Spokane, WA - 10:00 - Wed/Fri
KJR - Seattle, WA - 10:15 - Tue/Thu
KGW - Portland, OR - 9:45 - Tue/Fri
KPO - San Francisco, CA - 10:15 - Tue/Fri
KNX - Los Angeles, CA - 11:00 - Mon/Wed
Interestingly, the list isn't alphabetical by call letter or by city. Instead it was listed geographically (mostly)  from east cost to west coast and north to south starting in New England and ending in LA. I guess they didn't have an affiliate in San Diego.  The Mason jar was invented and patented in 1858 by Philadelphia tinsmith John Landis Mason, which is why we sometimes call them mason jars. He sold the patent to the Consolidated fruit jar company. He also did some work for the Hero Fruit jar Company. That  patent expired in 1875.

Ball was founded in 1880 threatening the duopoly of Hero and Consolidated. Ball had facilities to make jars and lids a vertical integration that Hero and Consolidated lacked. In 1903 they debuted an automated jar maker ending their glass blowing requirements. Mason died penniless in a charity ward in Brooklyn. Most of the jars still bear his name.

Ball was never big on radio. A magazine in 1944 ran an article titled "Ball Jar advertising reaches and teaches the home-canners of America." I think that covers the core of the issue.  Because of their limited functional use the jars are only usable by a subset of people that know how to properly store and preserve food. It's unlikely that they sponsored or produced any programming beyond this one season.