History of Fowler's Vacola Jars

It was only recently that I discovered Fowler's Vacola preserving bottles, which are manufactured right here in Australia. They are beautiful, big jars that have several benefits (one of which is a re-useable lid), and jars of sliced fruit in these jars is a sight to see :) I'm always on the hunt now for these Aussie jars so I can collect more to use in my canning projects ...
     
   History of Fowler's Vacola Preserving Bottles
  
Back in 1915, an Australian named Joseph Fowler developed the Fowler's method of preserving. Fowler was an English migrant, and lived in Melbourne. The Fowler's Vacola Preserving method relies on the acidity of the contents and heating over a long period (1 hour) to get to a specific temperature (92'C) to sterilise and seal the jars. Original Fowler's Vacola Preserving Units were stove-top (similar to the pot you use in the American Hot Water Bath method), and you would stand over them with a thermometer for the hour. Took time and work but was successful in creating a safely sealed product. Luckily, modern Fowler's Vacola Preserving Units are electric - just fill, plug in and set your timer and wait!
   
   Fowler's Vacola Preserving Unit: The Basic Process
  
There are several pieces that you will use: Fowler's Vacola glass bottles, metal lids (most are stainless steel), a rubber sealing ring and metal clips. You place the warmed rubber ring around the hot jars, fill with food then put the lid on top. Adding one or two of the metal clips holds the lid down firmly. As the jars heat in the Preserving Unit (or Hot Water Bath if you like), the air is pushed out of the jar. Once the jar is removed from the Unit and starts to cool, a strong vacuum seal is produced. The following day you remove the clips and label then store your jars. Everything except for the rubber sealing ring is re-useable when you make another batch. Always follow a safe canning/preserving recipe to ensure your jars are safe to store in the pantry.
  
There are only three sizes of Fowler's Vacola Jars that are currently manufactured, but most preserving suppliers provide replacement lids, seals and clips for older sizes too. Always wash second-hand jars carefully, and do not use chipped or cracked jars for preserving.
     
CURRENT FOWLERS VACOLA PRESERVING BOTTLES
[NEW JARS AND NEW ACCESSORIES AVAILABLE]
Fowlers Vacola Bottle No.
Size [lids, clips]
Size [ring]
Volume
Date
14
3
3
350ml
CURRENT
20
3
3
600ml
CURRENT
31
4
4
1000ml
CURRENT
   
FOWLERS VACOLA PRESERVING BOTTLES THAT ARE NO LONGER MANUFACTURED
[BUY JARS SECOND-HAND, NEW ACCESSORIES STILL AVAILABLE]
Fowlers Vacola Bottle No.
Size [lids, clips]
Size [ring]
Volume
Date
3
2
2
60ml
1976
10
2
2
240ml
1975
15
4
4
400ml
Late 1930s
17
3
3
?
1939
27
3
3
850ml
1970s
28
4.25
4
600ml
2006
36
4
4
1200ml
1978
39
4.25
4
900ml
1940s
40
3
3
1200ml
1936
42
4.25
4
900ml
1940s
45
4
4
1100ml
Late 1930s
56
4.25
4
1100ml
Late 1940s
65
4
4
2000ml
1975
270
3
3
800ml
?
320
4
4
?
?
200
3
3
?
?
1/4lb meat
3
3
100ml
1936
1/2lb meat
4
4
200ml
1936

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