Follow-up: More Atom Smashing! JEEPERS!

After this post, I discovered that a similar item was more recently sold: The Atomic Bomb Ring from Kix Cereal, offered "wthin months of the Hiroshima blast".

Both images and many others from THIS BLOG which describes the spinthariscope and how it worked, as well as HOW COMPLETELY SAFE they claimed it was.  Don't miss also the "Atomic Energy Lab" pictured and described at that site, a great toy for all the budding scientists out there.  J

Holy cow! Amazing what they used to get away with! Do we even put toys in cereal anymore?

Ed C.
Vintage Advertising Artwork
Spinthariscopes are still made and they are quite safe, as these things go. The amount of radioactive material is tiny, tiny; you're exposed to more radiation walking down the street. United Nuclear's spinthariscope page. Element expert Theo Gray's collection of vintage and modern spinthariscopes.

You do need to be in TOTAL DARKNESS (in fact, you need to stay in total darkness a while before viewing, to let your eyes adjust) to use these, so I'm not clear how effective the Kix version would have been (unless the kid tried using it in bed when he was supposed to be sleeping)!
WOW - hubs brought his home from work and I tried it just now, right after waking up when it was still fully dark. SPARKLES everywhere! He was sure it was long dead, but you're right, you have to be extremely dark-adapted. Even a quick trip into a lighted room made the glowing spots almost invisible a moment later.