Color Spotlight: Radioactive Red

original red

Original Red is most commonly called radioactive red due to the fact that it was made with either natural uranium or depleted uranium, depending on the year it was made. From 1936-1943, it was made with natural uranium, until the government took control of all uranium due to WWII. After the World War and the loosening of governmental hold of uranium, HLC began firing radioactive red again, this time with depleted uranium.

Many studies have been done on the amount of radiation this red gives off, and while depleted uranium is (comparatively) safer than natural uranium, they’re both probably not safe to use, especially not with acidic foods. The EPA lists these plates as having “elevated levels” of radiation.

Also, before you eat off any vintage Fiesta plate, remember that lead was an ‘ingredient’, and any cracks in the plate or glaze will expose you to it!

This red is more orangey-red than a true red, so if someone is selling ‘original red’ and it looks like a true red, don’t pay vintage prices for it!


Sources: NowIKnow, Orau, ThoughtCo

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