Also known as uranium glass, Vaseline glass glows bright green under ultraviolet light, thanks to the uranium oxide added to the glass in its molten state. In natural or indoor light, Vaseline glass has a yellow or yellow-green tinge with an oily sheen, which is where its name comes from. Vaseline glass is not to be confused with Custard glass and Burmese glass, which also glow under ultraviolet light. While Vaseline pieces are transparent or translucent, these pieces are opaque.

Uranium oxide was first used as a coloring agent in the 1830s; Vaseline glass was produced commonly from the 1840s through World War I, though it was most popular from the 1880s onward. A variety of companies produced it, including Adams & Co., Steuben Glass, Cambridge Glass Co., and Baccarat, which released its first Vaseline glass piece in 1843 under the name “cristal dichroide.”

Different companies called its distinctive color different names, including citron, jasmine, golden green, mustard, Florentine, and canary. Pieces could also have different exterior color finishes, like satin, opalescent, iridescent, rubina verde, and yellow-green.

Vaseline glass was produced in a variety of styles over the years, from Victorian to Art Deco. During the Great Depression, some manufacturers added iron oxide (rust) to the Vaseline glass mixture in an effort to make the glass look greener in natural light. As a result, Vaseline-glass purists exclude this Depression-era glass from the Vaseline-glass family, since Vaseline glass in the traditional sense does not include iron oxide in its composition. Carnival glass was also produced in Vaseline glass varieties, which generally had a marigold, iridescent look.

Although making dinnerware out of uranium may seem like a bad idea today, companies produced an endless variety of Vaseline glass dinnerware pieces, including wine servers, water pitchers, mugs, and butter dishes, along with more decorative shapes like candlesticks and paperweights.

Around 1943, the U.S. government halted the production of Vaseline glass altogether, as uranium became a heavily regulated substance. In 1958, uranium oxide was deregulated, and the production of Vaseline glass resumed. This time, however, producers used depleted uranium in place of more radioactive natural uranium.

Practically since its invention, Vaseline glass has carried the burden of a bad reputation. Stories of Vaseline glassblowers dying young from lung cancer raised the question of r...

The U.S. Nuclear Regulation Commission studied the health risks of Vaseline glass in its 2001 report, “Systematic Radiological Assessment of Exemptions for Source and Byproduct Materials.” This report agreed largely with what collectors had been saying all along—radiation from the glass was equally (or, in some cases, even less) harmful than the background radiation levels we are exposed to every day.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Pattern Glass School

Pattern Glass School

If you need schooling on Victorian-era pressed glass tableware aka EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) aka Pattern … [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Pair Vintage Grantham Bagley Uranium Frosted Green Art Deco Glass Vases 1930'sAustralian Crown Crystal Company Citron Uranium Glass VaseRare Vintage Murano Sommerso Cenedese Uranium Art Glass Ashtray Antonio Da RosOriginal Old Mckee Daisy And Button Vaseline Glass Mantle Clock Tambour UraniumVictorian Vaseline Opalescent Tall Reverse Swirl Salt ShakerRare Vintage Duncan Miller Opalescent Glass Yellow Fish Dish 4" VaselineRare Citrine Yellow Glows Green Uranium Vaseline Glass Revolver Pistol Hand GunAntique Green Depression Glass Vaseline Hoosier Shaker Jar & LidUranium Glass Vase Amber RuffleVintage Green Anchor Hocking Uranium Glass Princess Pattern Berry Bowl C1930'sVtg Vaseline Glass Yellow/green Glow Daisy & Button Pattern Candy Dish OblongVintage Green Vasoline Glass Shotglass W/ Sterling Rim And Band Good ConditionGeorge Davidson Vaseline Opalescent Pearline Creamer Circa Late 1800'sUranium Glass VaseCrown Crystal? Green Uranium Carnival Depression Glass Tri Foot Fluted Rose BowlArt Deco Green Satin Frosted Uranium Vaseline Glass Womenw/fountain Powder JarVintage Green Vaseline Glass Depression Glass Funnel - 5" TallHandmade Art Glass Yellow Vaseline Drawer Pull Knob W/ Brass Hardware IncludedCoasters Lime Green Vaseline Depression Glass Ashtrays Under Plate Set 5 VintageRare Fostoria Glass 1998 Pelican Figure Vaseline Fgsa2 Duncan Miller Yellow Vaseline Opalescent Canterbury Highball Glass TumblersModel Flint Wreath & Shell Vaseline Opalescent Covered Butter DishVintage Mma Metropolitan Museum Art Canary Vaseline Glass Coi Fish CandlesticksPair Of Vintage Tiffin Vaseline Glass Candlesticks 4"Vintage Hand Blown Vaseline Glass 4 Inch PitcherVintage Vaseline Uranium Glass 7 Inch Tall Candlestick Pair Glow Under BlacklighVaseline Glass Fish Candle Holder Candlestick Metropolitan Museum Of Art Koi Antique Vaseline / Pearline Blue Yellow Striped Glass Pulpit VaseBoyd Glass Set Of 3 Scotty Scottie Dog Carnival Ruby Red Uranium Vaseline FundSet 4 Green Vaseline Glass Insulator Uranium Canary Yellow Neon Fluorescing MiniYellow Vaseline Glass Colgate Washboard Soap Holder DisplayEapg - Hobbs Brockunier Vaseline Daisy & Button Star-shaped 5.5" Sauces5 Tiffin Watermelon Pink Vaseline Green Depression Optic Ribbed,paneled GlassesBoyd Glass Set Of 2 Scotty Scottie Dog Unusual Slag Uranium Vaseline FundLot Of 6 Green Vaseline Glass Uranium Toothpick Holders Train Shoe Flower BasketLot Of 6 Vintage Edna Barnes Reamers - 2 Milk Glass, 4 Fluorescent Uranium GlassCambridge Decagon Vaseline Green Glass Creamer, Sugar Bowl W / Undertray AmazingVintage Federal Uranium Green Depression Glass Reamer Ribbed JuicerBoyd Glass Set Of 3 Scotty Scottie Dog Aqua Slag Uranium Vaseline FundBoyd Glass Set Of 4 Duke Scotty Scottie Dog Slag Uranium Vaseline Pink FundVintage Lime Green Depression Glass 1 Oz. Shot Glass Uranium/vaseline GlassVintage Green/yellow Vaseline Glass Vase Holder2 Rare Ruby Red Manganese Uranium Depression Glass Bowls In Silver Metal BasesBoyd Glass Not Sold Scotty Scottie Dog Test Run Hollow Uranium Vaseline FundBoyd Glass Set Of 4 Colors Duke Scotty Scottie Dog Slag Vaseline Carnival FundWestmoreland Glass Hand Painted Iridescent Vaseline Glass PlateMosser Glass Yellow Vaseline Opalescent Kitten Cat Animal Figurine PaperweightVintage Shooter Vaseline Glass Hurricane Marble Oxblood Neon Green Holder Ref#8Vintage Uranium Vaseline Glass Footed Mayonnaise Condiment Bowl W/matching LadleBoyd Glass Set Of 4 Colors Mac Scotty Scottie Dog Slag Carnival Uranium FundBoyd Glass Set Of 3 Scotty Scottie Dog Blue Uranium Vaseline FundBoyd Glass Set Of 4 Duke Scotty Scottie Dog Slag Uranium Ruby Red FundTiffin Vaseline Canary Yellow Satin Glass Twisted CompoteVintage Vaseline Glass Candy Dish With LidVintage Green Vaseline Glass Lady Salt & Pepper Shakers (new Condition!!)Green Vaseline Uranium Glass Diamond Pattern Salt Dip Cellar Celt Poker Card ArtVintage Peltier Akro Vaseline Uranium Glass Marble Blue & Purple Swirl Glows #7Mosser Glass-lot Of 2 Collies-1 Yellow Vaseline? & 1 Green Opalescent? Collie Boyd Glass Old Made In 1980 Pooch Pooche Dog Slag Uranium Candy Swirl FundBoyd Glass Made In 1982 Owl Bell December Swirl Slag Uranium Fund