Magnificent Obsessions: Vaseline Glass
September 30, 2003 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Vaseline Glass is a particular color of yellow-green glass that is made by adding 2% Uranium Dioxide to the ingredients when the glass formula is made. The addition of the Uranium Dioxide makes the glass color yellow-green. A 'magnificent obsession' site crammed with images and information on art glass, novelties, collector themes, and manufacturers.
posted by quonsar (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yikes! I'm not sure that I want to stand too close to that stuff without some lead shielding in between.
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:24 PM on September 30, 2003

Wonderful stuff; I have a certain amount of it around. Their explanation about the UV tickling the uranium atoms is almost sensible compared to some you see: fluorescence of uranium glass: "The high energy emissions of electrons from the black light cause the uranium oxide particles in the vaseline glass to become unstable thereby causing this fluorescense ... the coloring agent used in glass is not the unstable and radioactive element uranium, but the more stable compound URANIUM DIOXIDE". I also collected a few links a while back: Ken Tomabechi's Uranium Glass Gallery; the Glass Museum; 1st.Glass; The romantic nature of uranium glass; and Uranium doped marbles (these are always cropping up on eBay). And there's Jack Vance's The Potters of Firsk.
posted by raygirvan at 5:27 PM on September 30, 2003

From raygirvan's sixth link (of seven):

posted by kickingtheground at 5:41 PM on September 30, 2003

VG has been my obsession for the past two years or so.

It probably has something to do with the thrill of the hunt coupled with running around with a black light.
posted by Raymond Marble at 5:42 PM on September 30, 2003 [1 favorite] link q! And great follow-on links from raygirvan - thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 5:48 PM on September 30, 2003

good post, q... never thought I'd ever see quonsar do a link to anything "vaseline" that was actually Safe For Work...
posted by wendell at 8:27 PM on September 30, 2003

Cool link - while almost all of the pieces are ugly beyond description (my opinion only, of course), the concept of glassware that glows under a black light is neat.
posted by dg at 8:48 PM on September 30, 2003

Ever since I found out about Fiestaware's uranium glaze I've tried to avoid their dinnerware at Hecht's. Yeah, they probably haven't used the stuff since the 60's, but no way my genitals are getting near any of those bright orange soup bowls.
posted by brownpau at 9:25 PM on September 30, 2003

Um, brownpau, according to my copy of emily post, your genitals aren't supposed to be anywhere near the soup bowls.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:38 AM on October 1, 2003

That's truly great stuff. Everyone should have more Uranium. Although that eyebrow geezer is now going to haunt my entire morning, making me chortle at inappropriate work moments. I came into this post thinking "all very well, but where's the blort?" Oh me of little faith.
posted by walrus at 3:08 AM on October 1, 2003

LOL, mother-in-law has been collecting VG for years, and she has a small, battery-operated ultra-violet lamp she takes with her in her purse.

I agree, the stuff is ugly as sin, but it makes for a neat display in a china cabinet illuminated with UV light.
posted by Oriole Adams at 5:46 AM on October 1, 2003

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