One thing has always bewildered me about canning jars. Modern canning jars have a two-piece system that comes in two sizes depending on the opening size of the jar. The small size is called "regular" and the large size is called "wide-mouth." Why not "small" and "large"?
The answer came to me today in an unexpected way.
I recently asked my in-laws if they had any spare canning jars hanging around that they wouldn't mind parting with. Today they came over with two boxes of jars that Joe's dad pulled from the attic. There were lots of different jars in there. Three of the jars were the old style with the rubber gasket and glass lids. A number of them were the old zinc one-piece lids. One jar had a wide-mouth opening, but most of the jars were regular opening size. However, a couple jars had tiny bands but no flat lid. Those puzzled me until I found this lid on one of the jars (the band is under the flat lid):
As you can see below, the narrow-mouth and regular lids are noticeably different in size:
There was one other surprise in the box -- a 2-quart canning jar! I've heard about these, but had never seen one. On the left is a Ball quart jar and on the right is a Kerr 2-quart jar. The Ball jar is one that I purchased at the store. I have no idea how old the Kerr jar is. The stores no longer carry that size because it takes too long to safely process foods in a jar that large. Oh, but it will be fun to use it in the fridge.