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    

1930s Art Deco Green Uranium Depression Glass Vase & Planter Frog-stepped Sides!Vintage American Maid Tea Set Akro Agate Lemonade Oxblood Vaseline Glass ChildsC1890 Antique Victorian Yellow Vaseline Glass Perfume Bottle * No ReserveViking Glass Retro Green Mushroom With Original Sticker Vaseline GlassVictorian Cranberry Vaseline Opalescent Jack In The Pulpit Vase Rigoree Low ShipAntique Vaseline Glass Store Advertising Display Stand Clark's Teaberry GumRare Antique Vaseline Glass Water Pitcher Set Depression BeautifulIndiana Tea Room Green Vaseline Glass Tall Pitcher2 Pc Lot Green Depression Vaseline Glass Hazel Atlas Vinegar Cruet & Candy DishAntique Fostoria Vaseline Uranium Art Deco Double Handled Urn Cabinet Glass VaseLarge 8" Imperial Glass Vintage Hobnail Vase Vaseline Yellow Opalescent 1960sAntique Yellow Vaseline Glass Perfume Bottle Stoppers * Elegant Glass * Nr6pcs Vaseline Opalescent Glass Fenton's #100 Footed Ringed Bowl C1929 Topaz2 Pc Lot Green Depression Vaseline Glass Milk Pitcher And Sugar ContainerBeautiful Art Deco Vaseline Milk Glass Decorative Bowl Daisy Flower PatternVintage Lg. Victorian 4 Flower Epergne Of Vaseline Glass W/ Blue Trim Fabulous3'' Czech Yellow Uranium Vaseline Art Glass Paperweight Vintage Art Deco Green Uranium Depression Glass Jug / Pitcher Antique Cranberry Rose Trumpet For Epergne Pink Opaline Vaseline Glass .Scarce Circa 1898 Vaseline Greentown Glass €Vintage Yellow Vaseline Uranium Glass Hobnail VaseVictorian Cranberry Vaseline Opalescent Jack In The Pulpit Vase - Low Usa ShipVaseline Green Hocking 14 Piece Decanter And Glass Set!Vintage Vaseline Green Depression Glass Juicer In Perfect ConditionVintage Depression Vasoline Uranium Hoosier Green Glass Lid For Ribbed JarIndiana Tea Room Green Vaseline Glass Vase#18 Vintage Large Opalescent Yellow/vaseline Glass Leaf With Gold BaseDepression Glass Butter Dish And Juicer Vaseline GlassMillersburg Vaseline Green Glass Hanging Cherries Design Water/milk Pitcher?Complete!! Vaseline ** Derby ** Master Berry Set With Gold!Large Opalescent Vaseline Glass Cherry Cable PitcherDavidson Glass Yellow Vaseline Pearline William & Mary Opalescent Open Salt Victorian Vaseline Glass Bowl; 5 ¾” Diameter 2Green Vaseline Uranium Glass Heart Toothpick Holder Valentine's Day Gift Glows!Vintage Green Vaseline Glass Juicer ReamerAmazing Iridescence Fenton Vaseline Dragon Lotus Rare Shape Carnival Glass2 Pc Lot Green Depression Vaseline Glass Hazel Atlas Pitcher & A Cream Pitcher6 Pc Lot Green Depression Vaseline Glass Bread Butter PlatesVintage Basket Weave Milky Open Lace Edge Footed Opalescent Vaseline Vase 5"Vintage True Uranium Vaseline Glass Serving/butter/candy Dish Shaped As LogVaseline Glass Light Green Yellow Tooth Pick Holder Nice Art Uranium NiceUranium Glass Pale Yellow Vaseline Carnival Shooter Boulder Marble Glows Uv Nice2 Vintage Satin Vaseline Opalescent Fenton Dasiy Fern Glass Tumblers L G WrightGreen Vaseline Irridescent Glass Chicken Hen On Hobnail NestVtg Green Depression Vaseline Glass Candy Dish With LidLimelight Slag Satin Uranium Vaseline Boyd Glass Beaded Open Salt Dip W/ SpoonDavidson Lady Caroline Vaseline Opalescent BasketWestmoreland Vaseline Carnival Bunny Rabbit Horseshoe Clover Collectors PlateBoyd Glass Suee Pig Hog Razorback Slag Vaseline And White Made In 2009 FundDavidson Lady Caroline Vaseline Opalescent 3-handled Basket Circa 1891Limelight Vaseline Boyd Uranium Glass Melissa Doll Figurine #14 2nd Series 2011Vintage Vaseline Depression Glass Green Candy Dish Bowl W Swan Perfect AntiqueVintage Pair Of Green Uranium Glass Candle Holders CandlesticksFenton Little Swan Novelty - Ice Green VaselineGreen Vaseline Uranium Glass Open Footed Salt Dip Uv Glow Excellent!Vintage Green Depression Glass Sugar Bowl Double Two Handle Cup ServingVtg Green Depression Uranium Glass 1lb Hocking Block Optic Covered Butter Dish Uranium Glowing Green Fine Rib Vase Slung Black Light Vaseline Lit-up 10 1/2" 6 Vintage Hazel Atlas Green Vaseline Depression Glass Furniture Caster CoastersAnchor Hocking Green Depression Glass Shaker Hoosier Jar Vaseline-rare 5 In

Recent News: Vaseline Glass

Source: Google News

Antiques & Collectibles: 'Mantiques,' Asian art will be hot collectibles in 2015
Post-Bulletin, January 16th

As an example, 'mantiques,' or antiques for men, dominated the landscape. Ranging from rusty oil cans and beat-up motorcycles to racy pin-up calendars and vintage barware, these items defy the traditional rules of antique collecting and make a 'man...Read more

Garrett Klinger's First Sale in New Location
Maine Antique Digest, December 7th

Garrett “Gary” Klinger was an antiques dealer for six years before he started his auction business. “I started my business seven years ago and modeled it on John McClain's auctions. McClain held quarterly sales at the York Fairgrounds, and when he...Read more

Hundreds of antiques under one roof at Fall Antique Show, October 20th

Antique coordinator John Wanat visited the News 18 This Morning set to talk about some of the most sought after items that will appear at the show this year, including something called vaseline glass. “In the 1800s, it was made because it was such a...Read more

Antiques expert: It pays to know
Journal and Courier, October 17th

Somehow, Wanat spotted Bakelite — an early plastic resin now-turned-collectible costume jewelry that peaked in popularity during the 1930s and '40s — in a locked glass case near a fur-trimmed vintage jacket that had the jaunty '60s imprint of former...Read more

Heart of America Carnival Glass Association Auction
Maine Antique Digest, August 14th

A glass bell made as a 1912 souvenir for the Portland, Oregon, convention of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE)was the key item at the Heart of America Carnival Glass Association convention sale on May 3, selling for $11,000 (no buyer's ...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
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

THE SHINING | Vaseline glass from the Hawley Antique Exchange in Hawley, Pa. ( Owners Erich and Ida Martin estimate that their collection includes approximately 6,000 pieces. F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal...Read more