Talk:Uranium glass

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Glass (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Glass, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of glass on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the importance scale.

What about toxical effects ?[edit]

If small pieces of glass get broken into some sort of dust and eaten or breezed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:46, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Century Typo?[edit]

Hallgrímur: It wasn't a typo. In the previous paragraph, I specifically talk about the 1840s, then in this paragraph, I say "the end of the century". Keith D. Tyler [AMA]


Trinitite is also light green; since actinides are so similar, chemically, should we discuss that material in this article?--Joel 23:30, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

I'd say not. I'm pretty sure that trinitite's colour isn't down to actinides, but (like green bottles) to reduced iron. Check out this PDF paper which contains an analysis. Tearlach 04:23, 26 July 2005 (UTC)


Riedel confirmed. It's a glassmaking dynasty: see history page at The uranium glass one would be Josef Riedel the Elder of Polaun (the German name for Dolni Polubny). Tearlach 18:42, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Old images -- ????[edit]

What the hell? The Image:Vaseline Glasses.jpg did work once, it was uploaded to the Commons after I made a request in Picture Requests. Where on earth did it go to? - Keith D. Tyler 20:32, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

I dont understand why the image

File:Vaseline Glasses.jpg
A selection of uranium glasses

was deleted, I can see it very good. I downloaded 4 images, if anyone want to use it in the article, its possible I dont have enough of experiences of it /sorry for mt english :)/

File:Vaseline Glasses.jpg
A selection of uranium glasses

Uraniumglass-uzitsklo02.jpg Uranium-glass-karafa.jpg Uranium-glass-dekor01.jpg Uranium-glass-bizu03.jpg

--Nolanuss 04:02, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Please clarify the origin of "vaseline glass"[edit]

Two different reasons are given for the name "vaseline glass", namely:

"changing from its normal transparent yellow or yellow-green with increasing opacity to, ultimately, opaque white. This material, technically a glass-ceramic, inspired the name "vaseline glass" due to its similar appearance to petroleum jelly."


"Vaseline glass gets its name from the original formula for Vaseline Petroleum Jelly which was yellow-green much like the color of antifreeze."

These two versions are not consistent, could someone with experience in this field plase clarify? --Paiconos 20:47, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

What is considered an EXCEPTIIONALLY large collection?[edit]

What is considered a LARGE collection? reffering to "However, the radioactivity of the glass is widely considered to be negligible and not harmful, although it is still recommended that exceptionally large collections be kept behind leaded glass." Because I have a neighbor who collects these peices and he has like 50-60 peices ranging from cake containers to punch bowls, Im wondering if his collection should be behind leaded glass....

--N00b 18:20, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

If 50-60 pieces is a "LARGE collection I'm dead. :p This comment has been written by a zombie. (I suppose that's why this is a necropost) Anyway, as those of us who had to do that experiment in a college chemistry class remember, alpha particles can be stopped by a sheet of paper. There are a lot greater hazards that people have a lot less concern about because they don't sound scary. Most people are utterly terrible at evaluating relative risk. For instance, people are afraid of terrorist attacks but not driving, yet more people died in cars in the US last year than in terrorist attacks in the entire history of the US; people are afraid of ebola, but more Americans died from the flu last year than all people, anywhere, put together, died of ebola in the 21st century. And the amount of radiation produced by uranium glass is minuscule to begin with, and essentially all alpha particles besides; anything else is so minor as to be indistinguishable from background. I got a bigger dose of radiation flying to Maine last year than I'll get from my entire uranium glass collection in my lifetime.

Worldwalker (talk) 02:48, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

I'm kind of wondering about the validity of that statement. Our article on uranium states that uranium decays by releasing alpha particles, which "are easily absorbed by materials and can travel only a few centimeters in air. They can be absorbed by tissue paper or the outer layers of human skin (about 40 micrometres, equivalent to a few cells deep) and so are not generally dangerous to life unless the source is ingested or inhaled." I don't think leaded glass would be necessary. I just wouldn't, say, eat the cake containers or punch bowls themselves. The lead glass article itself says that lead glass is used to stop x-rays; alpha particles are nothing like x-rays. TomTheHand 17:49, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I believe that TomTheHand is correct, Uranium only decays via alpha-particles, so it wouldn't be necessary to place the glass behind lead screening. I think that I shall make the alteration that he suggests.

Honestyisthebestpolicydude 19:56, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

While it is true that uranium decays mainly by alpha-particle emission ( there is some spontaneous fission, with associated neutron-emission as well ) it is worth noting that radioactive decays tend to leave the resulting nucleus in an excited state, and it is when THIS nucleus decays that you get gamma-rays ( similar to X-rays ). The amount of gamma emission from Uranium is quite low, and I don't think it should pose a problem, but I'm no doctor so don't quote me on that. Another concern is that Radon is produced as a part of Uranium's decay chain, and being a gas it can enter the lungs (see the article on radon for more on this ). Leaded-glass will do nothing to prevent this, but other measures, such as adequate ventilation can help. I strongly doubt that the small amounts of radium from a glassware collection will be much of a concern as compared to naturally occurring radon from uranium decays in the soil ( Radon is a noble gas, and hence tends to diffuse through the structural materials in buildings ). While I don't have the time to so do so at the moment, one could probably estimate the "safe" amount of uranium to keep in a room since uranium's half-life is known, there are guidelines for how much radon is acceptable in the air, and thus one can estimate how good ventilation one would need for any given amount of uranium ( my guess is no specific measures are necessary, but that is mere guesswork, it would be good with a cited source. ). (talk) 02:33, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

The number of neutrons produced by the spontaneous fission of uranium is way too low to pose a problem. From here, it is only 0.0136 neutron per second per gram of U-238.
Uranium in secular equilibrium with its daughter nuclides (e.g., uranium minerals) can pose a radon problem, but purified uranium (e.g., in uranium glass) cannot. This can be seen (or computed) from the U-238 decay chain.
Usually, the remaining nucleus immediately after a radioactive decay is in an excited state, and it'll soon shed off the extra energy in the form of gamma radiation. So most radioactive decays will be accompanied by gamma rays. In the case of uranium, the gamma radiation is weak.
The beta radiation is the most concerned form of radiation from uranium-containing products. It comes from the two immediate decay products of uranium: Th-234 and Pa-234m.
Also, see here, and please correct me if I'm wrong. Warut (talk) 04:21, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


  • Skelcher, Barrie (2001). "Uranium Glass". The Journal of the Glass Association. The Glass Association. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
  • [1]
  • [2]
  • Riedel glass]

Earliest use?[edit]

I arrived on this page from the article on uranium. There, a source is cited as saying that uranium was used in glass in oxide form as early as 79 AD. As the source is a government website, I believe it is trustworthy, but I will entrust that conclusion to you guys. 22:04, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't have JSTOR access to the full paper, but it seems to check out: Google Books finds the source of this statement to be The Earliest Known Use of a Material Containing Uranium by Earle R. Caley, Isis, Vol. 38, No. 3/4 (Feb., 1948). [3] I've added some detail on this and other early use, partially from already sourced material from Uranium. Tearlach 20:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd just like to note that the Glass Association reference cited in the article, "Uranium Glass"., is skeptical of the 79 AD find. 02:32, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

any RED and BLUE flourescent glass materials?[edit]

this particular shade of green is rather pure, makes me wonder if there are any elements that would work as a glass medium for the other two as well(even if it means radioactive elements too).

Would there be anything that corresponds to this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Murakumo-Elite (talkcontribs) 06:31, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Sure. Try stained glass. - Keith D. Tyler 20:39, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Or better yet: Glass_production#Colors. Keith D. Tyler 20:46, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Do you mean red or blue glass with any color of fluorescence, or any type of glass that would fluoresce in red or blue? If the former, there are various blends of yellow/green uranium glass with other colors of glass, resulting in different overall normal-light colors such as peach or aqua, but they still fluoresce green. If the latter, I've seen pix of some types of vintage glass that fluoresce blue-green or bright orange, but there seems to be some uncertainty among collectors about what causes those effects.

    The only other type of true fluorescent glass that I've personally seen is manganese glass, which has a weird, sickly fluorescence under UV that looks pale yellow-green to the naked eye but tends to photograph as kinda pink-- I've uploaded a pic here:

    There are also some particulates that can be suspended in or annealed onto glass, available in various individual colors of glow (they'll fluoresce under UV, and also luminesce the same color in ordinary darkness if they've had enough light to eat first); the only one of those I've seen looked like pale green flecks in normal light, with a green glow very similar in color to uranium glass, but there are pix/links for other glow colors at a glassworker's page here: Wombat1138 (talk) 12:15, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

    • What I am trying to accomplish is a design array that involves bright ultraviolet light shining on an arrangement of materials to produce the 3 colors of light (RGB), this is a concept I am trying to make happen, and plastic is the only material i know that fits these qualities (yellow and green are all too common, and i cannot seem to find blue and red fluorescent materials). Murakumo-Elite (talk) 06:08, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
There are certain types of fluorite with blue-violet fluorescence under UV, apparently due to trace europium? Pic at in combination with green uranium glass. The only thing I've personally seen that fluoresces red in this wavelength range are certain type of rubies-- not all natural rubies will fluoresce red under UV, but I think most synthetic ones are doped to do so; still, it could get expensive. --Wombat1138 (talk) 06:19, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Who still makes it?[edit]

Otherwise, modern uranium glass is now mainly limited to small objects like beads or marbles as scientific or decorative novelties.

This sounds like it is currently being made for those purposes, if so, who does it? (talk) 00:49, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

There’s a few companies that make it. From my experience it’s used a lot for pipes and such. Northstar Glass is one of them

The companies that make it keep going out of business. :( Mostly, there's not much of a market for art glass anymore, and as they say, the electric light killed uranium glass dishes ... if your dining room isn't being illuminated mostly by natural light in the evening, they're just green, without the faint glow that makes them look so cool. Fenton was one of the big ones; they did several types, including lime, custard, and Burmese glass, but declining sales did them in. Boyd is gone, too. There's still Mosser, and a whole slew of Czech companies (which makes sense; they invented it).

Given that few people want to rig up blacklights to display their glass collections (yes, I'm one of those people), there just isn't that much of a market for it as art glass, so production is fairly limited. One truly awesome piece I own was made by an artist who was a friend of an acquaintance: it's a small spherical paperweight with a morning-glory flower inside. The catch is that the petals are so thin, you can't actually see the flower under normal light; turn on a blacklight, and all of a sudden there's a glowing flower in there! There's a fair bit of it around in things like that, as jewelry, etc. Worldwalker (talk) 02:27, 26 June 2018 (UTC)