Some antique glassware and ceramics are radioactive! Uranium is used as a coloring agent in the glass and ceramic glazes. Some of these pieces are only mildly radioactive, while others are as "hot" as high grade uranium ore! The most interesting thing about uranium glass is the fact that it flouresces when exposed to ultraviolet light (blacklight).

The Atomic Hen

Sugar Bowl?, Juicer


Mixing Bowl, Elephant, Wine Glass,
Sherbet Dish

The red glazed ceramics are much "hotter"
than their glass counterparts!

This is a Fiestaware water pitcher. The uranium-containing red glaze was used from 1936 to 1943. It was discontinued from 1944 to 1958 due to a shortage of uranium caused by demand from the U.S. Government to build reactors and bombs. It was produced again from 1959 to 1969. The uranium that was used during this last period was supposedly "de-enriched" by removal of the fissionable isotope, Uranium 235. This geiger counter is reading approximately 3 mR/hr.

Listen to the sound of the geiger counter as it detects radiation eminating from the pitcher!

Please note that radioactive glassware and ceramics are perfectly safe to collect and display but should not be used to drink from or eat from. Acidic food or drink such as tomato sauce or juice may leach the uranium out of the glass or glaze, posing an ingestion hazard.

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