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    

Superb Antique Uranium Glass Lustre Pair Mantel Vases Crystal Drops 1900Fancy Uranium Vaseline Art Glass Bowl Swirled And Crimped C1890 EnglandVery Rare Stourbridge Emeraldene Vaseline Carnival Glass Tornado VaseVintage Green Uranium Glass Thistle Kerosene Finger Lamp W Shade Vintage Walther & Sohne Art Deco Nymphen (mermaid) Vaseline Glass Vanity SetVintage Walther & Sohne Art Deco Nymphen (mermaid) Vaseline Glass CandlesticksRare Teal Glass Crown Crystal Uranium Kerosene Finger Lamp Australian 1930sRare Citrine Vintage Antique Orange Glow Glass Basket Uranium Art DecoIncredible Fancy Antique Uranium Glass Bud Vase Swirled Scalloped Crimped! 1800sAntique Hobbs Brockhunier Cranberry Over Green Uranium Vaseline Hobnail PitcherFantastic Murano Uranium Glass Bowl - Triple Cased 1960's Diamond Shaped 25cmOpalescent Vaseline Pressed Glass Horn Of Plenty Cornucopia Vase Toothpick 1800sLarge Vintage Green Glass Depression Kerosene Lamp W Shade OilLg. Vintage Vaseline Opalescent Art Glass Shell Bowl,dish,planter-glows Uv LightA Rare, Vintage, Finnish, Uranium Glass Candle Stick, Fully Signed.Antique Belmont #100 Daisy & Button Yellow Vaseline Glass Domed Butter DishVintage Fenton Vaseline Glass Hobnail 3-trumpet Epergne VaseVintage Intaglio Nude Art Deco Vaseline Uranium Green Depression Glass AshtrayFenton L.g. Wright Glass Bride's Basket Uranium Vaseline Silverplate 10.5" Mint Vaseline Glass Vintage Door KnobFenton Green Iridescent Opalescent Atlantis Fish Vase Paperweight 95 AnniversaryVaseline Glass Castor SetVaseline Glass Wall Match Holder Eapg Pattern Glass Daisey & Button...old And SoVictorian George Davidson Vaseline Opalescent Glass Tumbler Linking RingsDepression Vaseline Uranium Pitcher & 6 Shot Espresso Glass Cups Vintage Yellow Vaseline Glass Trinket Tray Center Handle CandlewickVintage Hocking "princess" Covered Biscuit Jar~~vaseline Green~~great ConditionGreen Vaseline Art Glass Gothic Skull Head Uranium Figurine / Canary Yellow NeonArt Deco Canary Yellow Uranium Glass Preserve Pot ~ Silver Plated Lid ~sugar JamHuge Stolzle Hermanova Hut "shell" Depression Glass Platter In Uranium Green.Rare And Beautiful Vintage Vaseline Glass Medium Size Fish BowlVictorian George Davidson Vaseline Opalescent Glass Bowl Linking Rings PatternVintage Opalescent Vaseline Compote-beautiful ConditionVaseline Uranium Opalescent Glass Tabletop Serving Candy Fruit Bowl Pattern MintFenton Jack In The Pulpit Vase 1991 Don Fenton Signed Handpainted By D Anderson Vaseline Opalescent Glass Eyewinker Pattern Candy / Jam Soap Dish Uranium YellowPair 1886 Hobbs Eapg Daisy And Button Glass Canoe Boat: Vaseline & Apple GreenCrown Crystal Plain Banded Comport In Citrine Or Citron Uranium Glass C1930'sGreen Yellow Vaseline Glass Serving Honey Pot Bee Hive Pattern Jar Uranium Dish Vaseline Opalescent Carnival Glass Water Serving Pitcher Diamond Pattern UraniumVaseline Opalescent Glass Serving Domed Butter Dish Cherry And Cable Uranium ArtGreen Vaseline Art Glass Gothic Skull Head / Uranium Figurine Canary Yellow NeonBoyd Glass Big Lucky Unicorn Horse Uranium Vaseline Glows Paperweight FundBoyd Glass Set Of 2 Flow Turtles Tortoise Uranium Vaseline Purple FundEnglish Victorian Vaseline Opalescent Spiral Optic 8" Bowl; John Walsh Walsh ?Vaseline, Uranium Bottoms Up Shot GlassGreen Neon Vaseline Uranium Art Glass Owl Bird Toothpick Holder Glows Uv LightGreen Neon Vaseline Uranium Art Glass Pig Hog Farm Animal Figurine Glows Uv Green Vaseline Uranium Nautical Star Glass Yellow Christmas Ornament PaperweightVintage Green Depression Glass Vaseline Large Ribbed Cookie Jar W/lid Hoosier Lot Of Vaseline Glass Vase Stemware Covered Bowl (579)Green Vaseline Glass Hen Chicken On Nest Basket Candy Dish Rooster Chick UraniumBoyd Glass Plane Airplane Uranium Vaseline Glows Paperweight FundBoyd Glass Old Brian Bunny Rabbit Sunflower Uranium Satin Made In 1988 FundGreen Vaseline Glass Diamond Pattern Candy Dish Uranium Sugar Bowl Yellow CanaryGreen Vaseline Glass Tabletop Toothpick Holder Uranium Canary Indian Head Chief Green Vaseline Glass Salt Cellar Hen Chicken Swan Duck Dish Celt Uranium Yellow Green Vaseline Unicorn Horse Glass Plate Uranium Jewelry Tray Pin Dish ChildrensUranium/vaseline Glass Candle HoldersVintage Northwood Spanish Lace Rose Bowl - Canary / Vaseline

Recent News: Vaseline Glass

Source: Google News

Brilliant Colors and Crisp Molds Drive Heckler & Company's Event
Maine Antique Digest, May 25th

Norman C. Heckler & Company, Woodstock Valley, Connecticut, has been gathering and offering for sale premier pieces of early glass, bottles, and flasks since the company was founded in 1987. And the premier absentee auction 120 that closed on March ...Read more

DOUG'S Q-C COLLECTIBLES Expert excites heiress over iridescent glassware
Quad City Times, May 17th

Then, as we dare not dream, you discovered that you possess an extremely rare and valuable antique from the earliest production of a world-famous, highly collectible art glass company. All that remains for our readers to learn is to what island do you...Read more

You rang?
The Australian Financial Review, April 29th

In addition to teaching household-management strategies, proper cleaning techniques, and the care of antiques, designer clothing, and luxury automobiles, the Starkey staff make site visits to the homes of potential clients to place Starkey graduates...Read more

Where Every Day It's 1893
Tufts Now, March 26th

A hatchet made of so-called Vaseline glass that shimmers in the dark because of the uranium oxide added during manufacture. ... He would arrive before dawn at the giant Brimfield, Massachusetts, antique shows, racing from booth to booth with a flashlight...Read more

Singerly's 30th antiques show draws 40-plus vendors
Cecil Whig, February 15th

“It's fun, and like seeing old friends,” she said. Among the items she displayed were pieces of Vaseline glass, which is made with uranium, and casts a glow when backlit with a black light. “It's from the 1940s,” she said. The fall antiques show will...Read more

The Victorians Used To Use Uranium To Make Glowing Glassware
io9, June 25th

We love artwork made with innovative materials — but sometimes, it can go too far. This Victorian-era glassware, made with uranium to make it glow, is definitely in that category. Today, the glow of uranium glass, which you can still find in antique...Read more

Vaseline glass is a little-known treasure
The Pike County Courier, February 17th

“You didn't have to become an expert to know Vaseline glass," said Eric Martin, who with his wife, Ida, owns the Hawley Antiques Exchange on Route 6 in Hawley. "All you had to do was take a portable pocket-sized black light, and if it glowed the unique ...Read more

A Quick Guide to Vaseline Glass
Wall Street Journal, August 9th

WHILE VASELINE GLASS may have a rather unappealing name, the antique tableware—distinguished by its radiant yellow-green hue—is anything but. Typically seen in the form of Victorian-style bowls, pitchers, plates and candlesticks, the glass can look ...Read more