The history of

Ceramic Cookie Jars

The All-American Art Form

Biscuit jars were used in Great Britain in the late 1700s. They were made of glass with metal lids and were usually found in grocery stores. Most were cylinder shapes, sometimes with painted flower on them. 

Americans also used glass biscuit jars to keep their store-bought cookies fresh. But, because of the Great Depression, many Americans were out of work and could no longer afford to buy cookies. So sad! Women began baking cookies at home and needed air-tight containers to keep their homemade goodies fresh.

At the beginning of the 1930s, rather than glass, stoneware became the preferred material for cookie jars. The first ceramic jar was made at the Brush Pottery Company in Zanesville, Ohio. This green jar had the name “Cookies” embossed on the front. Thus, in the United States, the first ceramic Cookie Jar was born!

Early jars were plain, but by the 1940s, pottery companies were manufacturing figural jars. Cookie jars which looked like animals, people, fruit, vegetables, flowers, houses and cars became popular and still are today.

Because Cookie Jars are happy and, often beautiful, Americans began collecting them. I started craving those cute jars in 1988, after my youngest child, Charlie, became a toddler. There were no babies to carry around anymore and small, round Cookie Jars seemed like good substitutes.

I now have more than five hundred jars which are displayed in most rooms in our home. I can’t speak for the rest of the family – one husband, seven children and seven grandchildren, but Cookie Jars almost make me as happy as my family does!