The Great Canning Lid Shortage of 1975, and a history of canning lids

jars of yellow spaghetti sauce in canner 3

1975 was the year of a canning supply shortage – lids were not available.  You could buy jar and rings, but no lids.  They just were not to be had.  There was even a hearing before a House Small Business Subcommittee on Commodities and Services of Congress.  Seems that the year before there was a shortage of raw materials, thereby leading to not having the materials needed to make the end product.  While consumers were encouraged not to hoard, to buy only what they needed when they needed them, not all headed the encouragement, which only exacerbated the issue.  There was even a Congressman would bought up all the lids he could find in D.C. to bring back to his constituents in his North Carolina District.  (The Ford Library has a set of letters and testimony back and forth between the Special Assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs and Congressman Rose, as well as before the Subcommittee.)

In an ABC Evening News for Saturday, June 26, 1975 talked about factories that made canning lids were working 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to try and keep up. In the same news report, Vice President of Consumer Affairs for the Kerr Mfg. Corporation, Harold Metzger said people were using more canning supplies than ever before. “No conspiracy to hoard lids here.”

The news report went on to assure people there would be enough lids the next year.

Home canners bought more of the company’s production during the first quarter of this year than ever before in the 90-year history of the corporation.” – Healthy Canning, Lids For Home Canning.  (This was a very informative and educational article about the history and advancement of the canning jar lid.  It is always good to understand the equipment with which you are working.)

Seems The Great Canning Lid Shortage of 1975 also affected Canadian home canners.

Archivist Rising wrote a blog post in 2011, just after the canning jar shortage of 2009.