Welcome to Chemistry Connections, my name is Alex Scott and I am your host for episode #21, Cookware Chemistry and Glowing Glass. Today I will be discussingthe history and chemistry behind uranium glass.
Segment 1: Introduction to Uranium Glass
Introduce the episode topic
Include definitions, vocabulary, interesting background information and context
So today we’re talking about uranium glass, but we have to start much more in the abstract
There’s a few different terms used to describe the glass I’m talking about:
Depression glass: produced from 1929–1939, often clear or colored translucent machine-made glassware distributed free, or at low cost, in the United States and Canada around the tim e of the Great Depression.
Elegant glass: Depression glass that was at least partially handmade, had a cleaner finish, and more vibrant colors, same time period
Uranium glass: glass which has had a uranium metal oxide added to a glass mix before melting for coloration
Vaseline Glass: uranium glass of a yellow or green translucent color
Generally, uranium glass can be identified by shining blacklight on it, as it will fluoresce a bright green
Context & History
The oldest recorded use is at least 79 AD, in a yellow piece of glass in a Roman mosaic, but it became most popular in the mid 19th century
Generally, the most recognized industrial uranium glass producer is Austrian Franz Xaver Riedel
He named the 2 colors annagelb and annagrun, for his wife Anna & the German words for yellow and green.
Produced variety of items, worked in modern day Dolni Polubni, Bohemia
By the 1840s, many other European glassworks began to produce uranium glass items and developed new varieties of uranium glass
In the US, Most glassware was made in the Ohio River Valley, where access to raw materials and power made manufacturing inexpensive
It was commonly used as a coloring agent for green American Depression glass during the early 20th century
Use in the US stopped partway through WWII when the US confiscated uranium supplies
Segment 2: The Chemistry Behind Uranium Glass
Have a natural transition into an example… no need to say “segment 2”
Provide detailed explanations of the chemistry that is related to your topic.
Remember that you must have a minimum of 2 topics from ap chem that you can explain here as related to your episode
Why was uranium oxide used to make the glass green?
Metal oxides make glass different colors
Why?: reflect a specific wavelength and absorb all the others
Why does it fluoresce under UV light?
Takes the energy from ultraviolet light
Excites molecules, so in order to bring electrons back to lower energy state, it releases a photon of light
Segment 3: Personal Connections
my parents are avid antique glass collectors
My parents especially love green Depression Glass
I wanted to know what made it that color
Tested my own cabinet to see what was and wasn't uranium AND MOST OF IT WAS
It’s strange that radioactive materials were so popular for cookware
Stranger that I’ve eaten off of it on holidays and family gatherings
The history is so strange
Thank you for listening to this episode of Chemistry Connections. For more student-ran podcasts and digital content, make sure that you visit www.hvspn.com.
List your sources here. Make sure they are linked. Wikipedia cannot count for more than 50% of your sources.