Feature Article

The Unloved Gerber Baby - A Ball Special Run Jar with a Rejected Design

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Red Book #376 and #376-5 Multiple Mold Numbers for #376


February is the month of the Valentine's Day holiday and love is in the air, but not for this baby (Red Book #376 Gerber Ft. Smith 25th Anniversary 1962 - 1987). Two different baby designs were produced for this Ball special run Gerber jar. Sadly to say the first baby was rejected, but the baby still holds a special place in the heart of some Ball jar collectors. The design on the left (in the first photo) was rejected by Gerber. The design on the right does indeed look more like the traditional Gerber baby seen in advertising.

I have discovered that there are at least three different mold numbers for the rejected jar (mold numbers shown are B12, B14, B3 on the base of the jars in the second photo). This would leave me to believe that the rejected design was intended for a "production run" and not as a "sample run" as has been previously thought (and probably also means that quite a few jars were produced). It's also likely that the rejected jars were shipped back to Ball and discarded or given to employees. It's just my theory. Does anyone know of other mold numbers out there, or have more concrete information? Jar collecting is full of unsolved mysteries.