Yes, there is a difference between Mason jars and canning jars, although the terms are often used interchangeably.
Mason jars are a specific type of canning jar that was invented and patented by John L. Mason in 1858. These jars feature a two-piece metal lid consisting of a flat metal lid with a rubber ring and a screw-on metal band. The design of Mason jars allows for a reliable seal that is essential for canning and preserving food.
On the other hand, canning jars refer to a broader category of jars specifically designed for home canning and food preservation. While Mason jars are a popular and widely recognized brand of canning jars, there are other brands available as well, such as Ball, Kerr, Weck and Goodlife Canning Jars. Canning jars typically have similar features to Mason jars, including the two-piece lid system, glass construction for heat processing, and various sizes to accommodate different canning needs.
In summary, all Mason jars are canning jars, but not all canning jars are necessarily Mason jars. Mason jars are a specific brand and style of canning jar that has become synonymous with home canning and preserving.