Crystalvac Jars

Three Rivers, Texas, due to their intersection of water, Quartzose sand, and natural gas, was the home to a famous glass factory. The history is described in “Texas Glass by Michael David Smith”. Small Crystalvac jars were produced for the H and H Coffee Co. and introduced in 1932. Their form comes from square fruit jars that pack efficiently with less breakage and use standard threading for Kerr and Mason-Ball lids.

Texas Glass by Michael David Smith, page 50

Three Rivers Glass was purchased by the Ball Brothers Glass Company from Muncie, Indiana in 1937. In 1947, Ball Brothers was forced to divest itself of Three Rivers Glass in the final verdict from a government lawsuit under monopoly charges.

Small H and H Coffee Crystalvac Jars from Three River Glass Co.

Glass Marks

The base of the Crystalvac jars has the manufacturer marks on the bottom. We have identified two types.

Three Rivers Glass Company

Three Rivers Glass produced 1-pound Crystalvac jars in clear and amber glass from 1932 until 1937. This small, clear Crystalvac jar shows the “3 Rivers Star” mark of Three River Glass Co. with the 601-4 patent number.

Small Crystalvac Jar Bottom

The bottom of this amber Crystalvac jar is very similar except for the rounded mold imprint and the 601-5 patent number.

Patent numbers were filed for changes to jar designs. We have the following design versions in the collection:

  1. 601-1, one-pound, clear glass
  2. 601-3, one-pound, clear glass
  3. 601-4, one-pound, clear glass
  4. 601-5, one-pound, amber glass
  5. 601-7, one-pound, clear glass

Small H and H Coffee Crystalvac Jar - Bottom

Owens-Illinois Glass Company

The bottom of this large, clear Crystalvac jar shows the “Diamond - Oval - I” mark of Owens-Illinois Glass. The number to the left is their plant code. Plant number “7” means Alton, Illinois. Glass had been made in Alton since 1873 but since the “oval” mark represents the merger of two glass manufacturers which wasn’t used until 1930. The number to the right is a year date code. A single digit date code means this is from the 1930’s. This jar is coded for 1939. There are large and small, clear Crystalvac glass jars with these marks.

Owens-Illinois probably designed the large 3-pound Crystalvac jar but only produced them in clear glass. It is claimed the Dr. J. H. Touslouse designed the jar. (Cite needed).

Large Crystalvac Jar Bottom

Collecting Criteria

Glass Color
Clear or Amber. Amber is rare.
Size
1lb. (small, 8-1/2in tall) or 3lbs. (large, 10-1/4in tall) jar.
Glass Manufacturer
Three Rivers or Owens-Illinois. Three Rivers Glass is more collectible.
Jar Condition
Any chipped edges, scratches, or cracks? Clear? Hazy?
Label
They were paper and don’t survive. A few of ours have partial labels.
Lid
Is it original? The jars were made to accept standard mason jar lids.
Lid Design
Plain or embossed with the logo? We have an all metal lid embossed with logo and brand.
Disc
A disc for re-sealing the large jar for canning was sold. Embossed with name and price? Plain?
Handle
We have a large jar with a wire bail handle. There may be wire handles with a wooden grip. Our small jar came in a wire carrier but we don’t know if it was original.
Collectibility
Glass is fragile. Metal wire and lids rust. Paper labels tear or fade. But, they seem to survive better than the coffee bags and metal coffee tins.
Price
For the large, clear jars we we've paid from $25 up to $125. Small clear jars have cost $30 to $60. Small amber jars have been $75 to $150

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