Vaseline Glass Containers
Vaseline glass containers are clear, yellow or yellowish-green glass pieces made with 0.1% to 25% uranium dioxide. Many different kinds of glass can have a yellowish-green hue, but the thing that sets Vaseline glass apart from the rest is the fact that it glows green when it is exposed to UV light. This glow is very important to collectors and fans of Vaseline glass. They have even coined the phrase, "If it doesn't glow green, it's not Vaseline."
Q: When was Vaseline glass created?
A: Vaseline glass has been produced since 1830. However, it was most popular from the 1880s until the 1920s. There was a ban on the production of Vaseline glass from 1943 to 1958, and after the ban was lifted, uranium prices were higher due to its use as a power source. This made the production of new Vaseline glass more expensive. New Vaseline pieces are still being created, though it is much less commonly produced than it once was.
Q: What is Vaseline glass used for?
A: Vaseline glass has been used to make all sorts of glassware, including bottles, cups, plates, bowls, vases, and other types of containers. It's also been used in jewelry, decorative statues, and chandeliers.
Q: Are there other names for Vaseline glass?
A: Vaseline glass is a specific type of uranium glass. It got its name from its distinctive yellowish color, which looks like petroleum jelly. It is also sometimes referred to as canary glass because of its yellow color. There are other types of uranium glass as well, including custard glass, Burmese glass, and jadeite glass, but these other uranium glasses are not the same as Vaseline glass.
Q: Is the uranium dioxide in Vaseline glass safe?
A: An extensive study done by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2001 found that the amount of radiation exposure caused by Vaseline glass to its owner is only 4 millirems per year, which is about 1% of the radiation that an average person is exposed to each year. This means that owning Vaseline glass is safer than owning many household electronics.
Q: Are all yellowish-green bottles Vaseline glass?
A: No. Just being yellowish-green does not make bottles or containers Vaseline glass. In fact, there are many different additives that can give glasses a yellowish-green or green tint. These include iron oxide and compounds including chromium, lead, and copper. One of the best tests to determine if a yellowish-green glass is Vaseline glass is to test it with a UV light. If it glows a fluorescent green color, it is most likely Vaseline glass.
Q: What is the difference between Vaseline glass and Depression glass?
A: Depression glass and Vaseline glass share many of the same characteristics. Most Depression glass was made with uranium, but it also contained iron oxide, which makes the glass much greener than Vaseline glass. Depression glass is often less valuable than Vaseline glass, so collectors have to be careful to not confuse the two.
Q: Where can you get Vaseline glass?
A: Vaseline glass can be found in many antique stores and at auctions, and you can purchase new decorative pieces today, though they can be quite pricey. Fans can also find Vaseline glass at glass shows and conventions. Be careful, though: There are a lot of different types of uranium glass, and many people will try to sell other glass products that glow under a black light at the same price as Vaseline glass.
Q: How do you take care of Vaseline glass?
A: Caring for Vaseline glass is the same as caring for any type of antique glass. Try not to use the handles of antique Vaseline glass pieces: These are often the weakest points and can break easily. If a piece needs to be cleaned, use lukewarm water, as hot water can cause cracks or breaks. Do not use abrasive cleaners, and always hand-wash these items; dishwashers can be too rough and can cause damage to Vaseline glass.
Q: What's the best way to display Vaseline glass?
A: To take in the full Vaseline glass experience, collectors should display their pieces in a way that allows for exposure to UV light. Some collectors set up display cases with dual illumination, so they can turn on a black light when they want to show off that green glow. These pieces can also look nice in a windowsill: At twilight, the quality of light outside can bring out the glow of Vaseline glass.
With these handy tips and tricks, anyone can start to collect Vaseline glass. Glowing bottles, containers, and statues can add a lot of character to any house, and the elegance of the pieces is sure to astound anyone who sees them.
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