on the 5th day of December my blogger gave to me...

A bedtime story

This is a David and Goliath story about the little jar lid that could. It's one in which the Mama bear size IS the right one. And it's a story about my little corner of the world -- Western Canada. Here's how it goes...

Long ago and not so far away, people (mostly women) used mason jars for canning just about anything. Way back when, jar lids were made of glass, with rubber rings to seal and a collar to hold it all together. Later these were replaced with metal "snap lids" and rings that were more disposable and sealed more reliably. There were three sizes -- the great big wide-mouth size, which was a little too big for comfort sometimes. Or the teeny tiny standard size, which was just too small for other things. And then there was the medium-sized "gem" opening which was juuuuuuust right! Except it was mostly Canadians, and in particular the Hutterite community, who had the wisdom to recognize this. 

Long story short, in 2002 the Big Bad Bernardin Canning Supply company announced it would stop making gem-sized lids; people would just have to switch over to the other, more popular, sizes -- and buy all new jars. There was a media uproar across the country! A lobby group formed seeking government intervention and tens of thousands of Hutterite women (yes, those of the old-fashioned dress and gentle demeanor) joined the protest -- they had a lot of gem jars in their collections and switching to a different sized jar would be a whopping expenditure.

One enterprising individual, our story's modest hero, started up his own company to produce the lids and subsequently robbed Big Bad Bernardin of enough sales that the Wall Street Journal took notice and the company changed their minds. 

And so, to this very day, you can still buy gem lids and collars, in Canada at least, but no jars. Don't you just love a happy ending!

If you want well-annotated history of this story with significantly more detail, you'll find it right here.

Sweet dreams and let's meet back here again tomorrow.


  1. Older Sister of Your Man5 December 2016 at 20:14

    I didn't know that story. Thank you. I do love a happy ending.


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