Ball Minnow Trap
The Ball Minnow Trap is really a great piece of angling history. Let me first add by saying yes, this is the same maker as the famous Ball jar line.
For those that may not know here is a piece borrowed from the Society of Historical Archaeology Inc. Although its roots go back to the 1880 making wooden covered milk cans and then to glass inserts for metal cans that wasn’t the era of the minnow trap production.
“Ball Brothers Co., Inc. (1922-1987)
Between 1913 and 1929, Ball acquired four more of its competitors and reorganized
again on December 19, 1922, as the Ball Brothers Co., Inc. The firm replaced the now-outdated
Owens machines with Ball-Bingham, Miller JPM, and English Moorshead machines in the
1930s. The firm purchased the Three Rivers Glass Co. in 1936 and closed it down after filling
existing orders, a fate visited on many of the earlier acquisitions (Roller 1983:456-457;
2011:659; Smith 1989; 1996).
The Owens license expired in 1933, so Ball began negotiations with Hartford-Empire and
acquired a license for those machines on March 25. On January 8, 1935, Ball executive Fred
Petty announced that Ball would begin production of packers’ ware in response to a major
decline in fruit jar sales over the past three years (Birmingham 1980:115). Ball (1937:96)
illustrated a birds-eye view drawing of the Muncie plant in 1936 (Figure 4).
By 1937, the Ball Brothers made “fruit jars, […]