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    

Beautiful Antique Green Uranium Glass Finger Bedside Oil Lamp C1900sRare Uranium Glass Biscuit Barrel With Hand Applied Raised Enamelling Good LuckBeautiful Uranium Green Glass Platter Etched Pattern Cambridge Glass Co Ohio UsaAntique Vaseline Uranium & Cranberry Glass Vase Ruffled Rim Nouveau C1900sSuperb Art Deco Maidens Dancing Uranium Art Glass Trinket Box C1930sAntique Victorian Stourbridge Vaseline Uranium Pink & White Striped Glass VaseBrilliant Art Deco Uranium Depression Green Glass Vase C1925 With FrogBeautiful Cambridge Vaseline Draped Lady Flower Frog Rare Oval Base Deco Dancing Lady Cake Stand Green Uranium Depression Rose And Leaf PlateModel Flint Antique Eapg Ribbed Spiral Canary Vaseline Opalescent Pitcher MintVintage Vaseline Uranium Glass Fish / Dolphin Candle Holder Candlestick OctagonAntique Handblown Vaseline Glass Vase Applied Flower, Leaves Stevens & WilliamsDewey Water Pitcher Vaseline Pattern Glass Indiana Tumbler 1898 Greentown Eapg4 Green Vaseline Glass Lamb Table Tea Set Child Cookie Jar Pitcher Sheep UraniumPair Imperial "mma" 10-1/2" Tall Vaseline Dolphin Candlesticks; 1976Blue Vaseline Glass Salt Celt Hen Chicken On Nest Basket Dish Uranium Boyd ChickVintage Green Vaseline Imperial Glass Donkey - Heisey Mold - Marked Aig - GlowsFluorescent Lime-green Uranium And Vaseline GlassBlue Vaseline Glass Uranium Owl Bell Cambridge Ashtray / 1948 Tucker Torpedo CarYellow Vaseline Glass 1800s Syrup Pitcher,not Hobbs?,antique Uranium Jar Jug OldBoyd Glass Set Of 4 Woodsie Owl Bird Alexandrite Red Uranium Vaseline Pink FundVintage Uranium / Vaseline Glass CandlesticksGreen Vaseline Glass Salt Celt Hen / Chicken On Nest Basket Dish Rooster UraniumGreen Vaseline Glass Sea Shell Starfish Uranium Yellow Paperweight Milk Slag ArtBoyd & Degenhart 3" Hen On Basket. Various Colors Including Vaseline. Lot Of 7.Set / 6 Green Vaseline Glass Uranium Train Engine Boxcar Coal Car Caboose TankerDegenhart Glass Pooche Dog Lavender Green Slag #2 Uranium Made In 1970's FundGreen Vaseline Glass 1963 Split Window Corvette Chevrolet Uranium Yellow Car ArtBlue Vaseline Glass Uranium Canary Yellow Bird / Songbird Victorian Paperweight Degenhart Glass Pooch Pooche Dog Tomato Slag Uranium Made In 1970's FundDegenhart Glass Pooch Pooche Dog Tomato #1 Uranium Made In 1970's FundBoyd Glass Made In 1979 Pooch Pooche Dog Butterscotch Uranium Yellow FundBoyd Glass Made In 1984 Owl Bird Green Uranium Vaseline FundDegenhart Glass Pooche Dog Bittersweet Slag #2 Uranium Made In 1970's FundBoyd Glass Made In 1981 Pooch Pooche Dog Ivory Slag Uranium FundDegenhart Glass Pooch Pooche Dog Opal Green Slag Uranium Made In 1970's FundVaseline Opalescent Glass Hen Chicken On Nest Basket Dish Rooster Uranium YellowGreen Vaseline Glass Sea Shell Conch Uranium Yellow Paperweight / Aquarium OceanGreen Vaseline Glass Salt Turkey On Nest Basket Dish Uranium Hen Salt Cellar DipVaseline Opalescent Glass Cake Serving Stand Plate Uranium Platter Pedestal ArtDepression Green Glass Candy Dish And Figural Powder JarBoyd Glass Imperial Santa Christmas Bell Vaseline Uranium Made In 2008 FundBoyd Glass 5 Inch Hen Chicken Hon Cider Vaseline Uranium Made In 2010 FundEapg *** Reduced Petti-coat Vaseline Creamer And SpoonerVaseline Opalescent Glass Eyewinker Pattern Candy Dish Uranium Sugar Bowl YellowDegenhart Glass Pooch Pooche Dog Green Blue Marble Uranium Made In 1970's FundAntique Uranium Vaseline Glass Floral Trumpet Bud Vase Degenhart Glass Owl Owls Bird Holly Vaseline Uranium Made In 1970's FundSet 3 Green Vaseline Rose Pattern Glass Plates Uranium Flower Floral RadioactiveCanary Yellow Vaseline Glass Eight Hole Flower FrogDegenhart Glass Pooche Dog Green Lavender Slag Dark Uranium Made In 1970's FundDegenhart Glass Pooch Pooche Dog Ivory Slag #2 Uranium Made In 1970's FundL.e. Smith Vaseline Glass Bird And Key Greek 2 Piece Footed Flower FrogGreen Vaseline Glass Farm Tractor Uranium Yellow Art Candy Container John Deere Set Of 3 Blue Vaseline Glass Uranium Woodsie Wood Owl Hand Bell Bird Screech ArtGreen Vaseline Uranium Glass Mini Skull Head Novelty Great Halloween Item Glows!Vaseline Glass Daisy And Button Pattern Domed Covered Butter Dish Round Uranium Green Vaseline Glass Salt Celt Hen / Chicken On Nest Basket Dish Rooster UraniumGreen Vaseline Uranium Glass Eye Wash / Rinse Cup Holder Glows Yellow Canary ArtRare Limited Ed Moon & Star Oval Iridescent Vaseline Uranium Glass Egg Plate