Early Radium Use

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koimaster (Online)
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Early Radium Use

Post by koimaster » February 2nd 2022, 12:29pm

One of the key components of any good tool watch is luminescent hands and markers. A watch doesn’t do much good when you’re deep underwater, stuck in the woods at night, or really anywhere up shit creek if you’re unable to read it. Lume was a logical yet major achievement for tool watches that’s now been around for a little over a century.

Currently, most watch manufacturers use strontium-based Super-LumiNova, while some still use tritium. LumiNova is great because it’s non-toxic, doesn’t degrade if kept from moisture, and glows brightly after light exposure. Purists like to opt for tritium since it requires no help from light, and replacing its luminescence many years down the road is often a nice yellow aging. Tritium is radioactive, mind you, so please don’t lick your dial.

Neither LumiNova nor tritium was the pioneer of luminescent materials, however, that title goes to radium. Discovered in 1898 by Marie Curie, radium is known for being highly radioactive and unstable. The benefit of its instability is it can be used in combination with a material like zinc sulfide to glow. The drawback of its highly radioactive nature is the adverse reaction in humans. Curie would later die of leukemia, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to speculate the cause being radium exposure.

Unfortunately for many folks, radium’s dangerous properties were not discovered for many years – paving the way for radium’s use for a good period of time. Instruments like watches were the perfect application for radium, and several companies popped up specializing in such use: United States Radium Corporation, Radium Dial Company, and Cold Light Manufacturing Company.

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Re: Early Radium Use

Post by bbattle » February 2nd 2022, 4:08pm

Radium was touted as being awesome for everything, once it was no longer the most expensive stuff on the planet.

"By 1910, radium was manufactured synthetically in the U.S. But before the effects of radiation exposure were well understood, radium ended up in a lot of crazy places for its purported magical healing properties and its glow-in-the-dark novelty.

1. IN CHOCOLATE
Food products containing radium, like the Radium Schokolade chocolate bar manufactured by Burk & Braun and Hippman-Blach bakery’s Radium Bread, made with radium water, were popular overseas until they were discontinued in 1936.

2. IN WATER
Radium water crocks like the Revigator stored a gallon of water inside a radium-laced bucket; drinking the water would cure any number of ailments, from arthritis to impotence to wrinkles.

3. IN TOYS AND NIGHTLIGHTS
The Radiumscope, a toy sold as late as 1942, offered a glimpse of radium in action. Noting radium’s famed luminescence, the ad also mentions that the radiumscope could double as a “wonderful” nightlight, since it “glows with a weird light in a dark room.”

4. IN TOOTHPASTE
Toothpaste containing both radium and thorium was sold by a man named Dr. Alfred Curie, who was not related to Marie or Pierre but didn’t miss an opportunity to capitalize on their name.

5. IN COSMETICS
Alfred Curie’s product line didn’t end with dental care, though. He also manufactured the extremely popular Tho-Radia brand of cosmetics, which included powders and creams that promised to rejuvenate and brighten the skin.

6. IN HEATING PADS AND SUPPOSITORIES
Early 20th-century doctors also jumped onto the radioactive bandwagon with both feet, producing suppositories, heating pads and radioactive coins (used to “charge” small amounts of water), all intended to treat rheumatism, weakness, malaise and just about any health complaint for which a fast and magical cure was needed.

7. IN THE TREATMENT OF IMPOTENCE
Before the days of Viagra and Cialis, treatment for impotence took the form of radioactive “bougies” – wax rods inserted into the urethra – and even athletic supporters containing a layer of radium-impregnated fabric. A popular alternate treatment called the Radioendocrinator was a booklet that contained a number of cards coated in radium, which were worn inside the undergarments at night. (The Radioendocrinator’s inventor died of bladder cancer in 1949.)

8. IN HEALTH SPAS
Radium and radon health spas took off in the 20s and 30s, where women and men alike could stop in for a long relaxing soak in radium mud, rinse with radium water and leave soft and glowing, thanks to a thorough application of radium cream. Radium mines and caves also doubled as “healing rooms,” if patrons were willing to travel. At least one radium spa is still in operation in the United States, as are a few in Japan in Europe."

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/127 ... tood-risks
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Re: Early Radium Use

Post by smellody » February 2nd 2022, 4:11pm

bbattle wrote:
February 2nd 2022, 4:08pm
Radium was touted as being awesome for everything, once it was no longer the most expensive stuff on the planet.

"By 1910, radium was manufactured synthetically in the U.S. But before the effects of radiation exposure were well understood, radium ended up in a lot of crazy places for its purported magical healing properties and its glow-in-the-dark novelty.

1. IN CHOCOLATE
Food products containing radium, like the Radium Schokolade chocolate bar manufactured by Burk & Braun and Hippman-Blach bakery’s Radium Bread, made with radium water, were popular overseas until they were discontinued in 1936.

2. IN WATER
Radium water crocks like the Revigator stored a gallon of water inside a radium-laced bucket; drinking the water would cure any number of ailments, from arthritis to impotence to wrinkles.

3. IN TOYS AND NIGHTLIGHTS
The Radiumscope, a toy sold as late as 1942, offered a glimpse of radium in action. Noting radium’s famed luminescence, the ad also mentions that the radiumscope could double as a “wonderful” nightlight, since it “glows with a weird light in a dark room.”

4. IN TOOTHPASTE
Toothpaste containing both radium and thorium was sold by a man named Dr. Alfred Curie, who was not related to Marie or Pierre but didn’t miss an opportunity to capitalize on their name.

5. IN COSMETICS
Alfred Curie’s product line didn’t end with dental care, though. He also manufactured the extremely popular Tho-Radia brand of cosmetics, which included powders and creams that promised to rejuvenate and brighten the skin.

6. IN HEATING PADS AND SUPPOSITORIES
Early 20th-century doctors also jumped onto the radioactive bandwagon with both feet, producing suppositories, heating pads and radioactive coins (used to “charge” small amounts of water), all intended to treat rheumatism, weakness, malaise and just about any health complaint for which a fast and magical cure was needed.

7. IN THE TREATMENT OF IMPOTENCE
Before the days of Viagra and Cialis, treatment for impotence took the form of radioactive “bougies” – wax rods inserted into the urethra – and even athletic supporters containing a layer of radium-impregnated fabric. A popular alternate treatment called the Radioendocrinator was a booklet that contained a number of cards coated in radium, which were worn inside the undergarments at night. (The Radioendocrinator’s inventor died of bladder cancer in 1949.)

8. IN HEALTH SPAS
Radium and radon health spas took off in the 20s and 30s, where women and men alike could stop in for a long relaxing soak in radium mud, rinse with radium water and leave soft and glowing, thanks to a thorough application of radium cream. Radium mines and caves also doubled as “healing rooms,” if patrons were willing to travel. At least one radium spa is still in operation in the United States, as are a few in Japan in Europe."

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/127 ... tood-risks
Fascinating! Radium was the marijuana of the last turn of the century. If only history would repeat.
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Re: Early Radium Use

Post by 3Flushes » February 2nd 2022, 11:40pm

Girard-Perregaux military watch c-1915. One of the first ever with radium lume - designed to be easy to read use in the trenches of WW1, and the first watch (AFA I could find) to use the guard over the crystal and case. Hinged at 12 to lift the guard, release at 6 to remove it..

From the perspective of the early 1900's, actually not a bad little piece of design / engineering to fortify a military watch.

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Re: Early Radium Use

Post by DocKlock » February 3rd 2022, 7:40am

I can remember as a child in the 50's going to our local Buster Brown Shoe Store. They had a device that after putting on a new pair of shoes, you would stand on this machine and it would show your foot inside the shoe with a greenish glow.
I can't remember if it was just for kids, but for adults as well.
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Re: Early Radium Use

Post by boscoe » February 3rd 2022, 4:02pm

I learned about radium in the 1950s when my sister got a watch with radium markers and became a one-hit wonder Hollywood star: The 50-FOOT Woman!
I always wondered if the radium drove her crazy, which is why she loved wearing a cleavage-baring two-piece swimsuit while attacking electric towers. I understand attacking electric towers, but put that shit away, girl!
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Re: Early Radium Use

Post by boscoe » February 3rd 2022, 4:10pm

3Flushes wrote:
February 2nd 2022, 11:40pm
Girard-Perregaux military watch c-1915. One of the first ever with radium lume - designed to be easy to read use in the trenches of WW1, and the first watch (AFA I could find) to use the guard over the crystal and case. Hinged at 12 to lift the guard, release at 6 to remove it..

From the perspective of the early 1900's, actually not a bad little piece of design / engineering to fortify a military watch.

Image
Pic - Vintage Watch Straps

This watch was actually created by Eyesore Lalo, whose wife went on to celebrate her enjoyment of Russian Naval Semen, by producing a dive watch made from her grandson Eel's childhood canteens, which became notorious for featuring a Cyclops on the dial. If you squint - or just close your eyes - you can see the similarity. Surprisingly, superluminova, which is milked from aphids, glows much brighter than radium.
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