Nuclear Culture 1: Healthy Radiation? | HISTORIES OF THINGS TO COME

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Nuclear Culture 1: Healthy Radiation? | HISTORIES OF THINGS TO COME

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Nuclear Culture 1: Healthy Radiation? | HISTORIES OF THINGS TO COME


Radithor (certified radioactive water)
.."touted as being ‘Perpetual Sunshine’ until its reputation plummeted when Eben Byers, an American industrialist, was found dead." Image

In the same vein as [viewtopic.php?f=69&t=4322], this post gives examples of radium products via this link which is well worth it's own post and worth reading all the text in the link. (While many are abandoned products, apparently there are also some still available today).

http://historiesofthingstocome.blogspot ... ation.html
As part of nuclear-themed posts in the run-up to the Chernobyl anniversary on 26 April, this post covers radioactive elements in their heyday, right after they were first discovered. There was a time when radiation from these elements was associated with the power of the sun - and the future. As incredible as it may seem, radium, a highly radioactive element, was seen up to the middle of the last century as a health treatment.
Here's a list of the pictured products, note that not all products reportedly turned out to be dangerous, I'll mark those with * (Some current products may be considered safe but don't say so explicitly so I didn't mark those ):

Dormad Toothpaste (c. 1945)
*Uranium Glass
Radium Ore Heating Pads
Radium Ore Revigator (Ceramic Jars that add radon to drinking water)
Radithor (certified radioactive water)
Radio-Rem (as in "radioactive-remedy") [Emanator, c. 1920]

Boys Radium Wristwatch ("UnDark" painted by Radium Girls see viewtopic.php?f=69&t=4322 )
also: Radium Watch Dial (early-to-late 20th century). Image Source: Oobject.

The Radiendocrinator (c. 1930). Image Source: Environmental Graffiti.
...intended to be placed over the endocrine glands to invigorate sexual virility...

Radium Suppositories (c. 1930).
*Bread made with radium water (c. 1920).

ARIUM Radium Tablets (c. 1925). Image Source: ORAU.
Radium chocolate (1931-1936).
Tho-Radia face cream and powder (early 1930s). Image Source: Environmental Graffiti.

Radium-226 in this (Westinghouse?) lightbulb was verified by gamma spectroscopy (date not determined). Image Source: Washington State Dept. of Health via ORAU.

Atomic Energy Lab (1951-1970s). *Toy, radioactive levels reportedly low

Endless Refrigerator / Freezer Deodorizer (c. 1983). Image Source: ORAU.
"...The monazite sands in Kerala are well known for their high levels of thorium. Apparently, the Japanese were loading the sand on a freighter and shipping it off somewhere, presumably for disposal. What a revelation! They were being paid by the Indian Government to clean up the beaches. They shipped the radioactive monazite to Japan where they incorporated it into consumer products (e.g., the Deod[o]rizers), and then they proceeded to sell the radioactive consumer products to Americans! ..."

*Nicotene Alkaloid Control Panel (NAC Plate; c. 1990). Image Source: ORAU. (for cigarette packages)
*The Nico Clean Tobacco Card (ca. 1990s).
*reportedly legal and without harmful radioactive levels

Well Aqua Bar (2005). Image Source: ORAU. Still available today?

Stayer’s Forearm Supporter (2005). Image Source: ORAU. "According to the manufacturer, fabrics made with this material release natural radioactive gases and minus ions that have germicidal and deodorizing properties, and produce a soothing, relaxed feeling like that of a pleasant hot spring or forest. ... The ion-producing fiber is also used to produce knee and back supports for strains and sprains, in waist bands, wrist bands, neck bands, pillows, blankets, towels, bed sheets, mattress covers, shirts, socks, pajamas, lingerie, and underwear. Count rate: approximately 150 counts per minute above background with pancake GM." wut?

Radic Hot Spring Ware (2005). Image Source: ORAU.

Tamagawa Onsen-no Hana (2005). Image Source: ORAU. These porous paper envelopes, containing a mixture of sulfur and clay (kaolin--nearly pure thorium), are distributed by the Yuze Hotel in Japan.

Radon Egg. Image Source: ORAU.
"As is the custom at Japanese spas, it is suggested you do not rinse with regular tap water after a radon bath."

Green Environment Health Bath Balls. Image Source: ORAU. aka 'Radium Balls'

Another ad picture:
Radium Emanation Water: How to make radium water in your home
The Colorado Radium Products Company, Denver Colorado ... 9e7ae2.jpg ... -histories

Last edited by kestrel9 on Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Nuclear Culture 1: Healthy Radiation? | HISTORIES OF THINGS TO COME

Post by kestrel9 »

The case of Eben Byers, Radithor (radioactive water) and the snake oil doctors who prescribed it.
"In 1927 Byers injured his arm falling from a railway sleeping berth. For the persistent pain a doctor suggested he take Radithor, a patent medicine manufactured by William J. A. Bailey.[4] Bailey was a Harvard University dropout who falsely claimed to be a doctor of medicine and had become rich from the sale of Radithor, a solution of radium in water which he claimed stimulated the endocrine system. He offered physicians a 1/6 kickback on each dose prescribed.[5]

Byers began taking several doses of Radithor per day, believing it gave him a "toned-up feeling", but stopped in October 1930 (after taking some 1400 doses) when that effect faded. He lost weight and had headaches, and his teeth began to fall out. In 1931 the Federal Trade Commission asked him to testify about his experience, but he was too sick to travel so the commission sent a lawyer to take his statement at his home; the lawyer reported that Byers's "whole upper jaw, excepting two front teeth and most of his lower jaw had been removed" and that "All the remaining bone tissue of his body was disintegrating, and holes were actually forming in his skull." ... dithor.jpg

EDIT 2: NSFW, includes pic of someone (presumably Eben Byers) without most of both jawbones ... tive-death

William J. A. Bailey himself died of bladder cancer in 1949 and 20 years later his exhumed body was found'ravaged by radiation'.
"In 1918, Bailey claimed that radium added to drinking water could be used to treat dozens of conditions, from mental illness and headaches to diabetes, anemia, constipation, and asthma.[4]

In 1922 he had had some success selling medicines like Arium radium tablets (‘Radium! Gives Super-Man Power’)[1] through his other company, Associated Radium Chemists Inc. The company also sold Linarium (radium liniment for aches and pains), Dentarium (radium dentifrice for teeth and gums) and Kaparium (radium hair tonic).[5]

Bailey became rich from the sale of Radithor, a well known patent medicine/snake oil that is possibly the best known example of radioactive quackery. Bailey created Radithor by dissolving radium salts in water to deliver 1 microcurie of radiation from each of 226Ra and 228Ra, claiming its curative properties were due to stimulation of the endocrine system. Radithor was advertised as "A Cure for the Living Dead" as well as "Perpetual Sunshine"[6]

In fact, Radithor was a lethal mixture, and was responsible for the death of Eben Byers in 1932, who died of radiation-induced cancer after drinking about 1,400 bottles of Radithor.[6][7]

Bailey also invented the Radiendocrinator around 1930. This was a cased source, intended to be worn against the skin.[8]

During World War II, Bailey was the wartime manager of the electronic division of International Business Machines."
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