Radium and You

Radior wasn't the only company marketing trace amounts of dangerous radioactive substances:

Thoradia & others packaged radium (and thorium, hence the name) into some astonishing products.

Many of them were beauty aids, creams, lotions, soaps, etc. The most striking ad is this one:

And its many variants:

  All pics enlarge!

But the best ones are the places you'd least expect radium.  In chocolate, condoms, and knitting wool - seriously.

So we have




and WOOL.  For knitting your baby a little radium jumper. D:

Of course, you could always make yourself some longjohns too, for skiing.



Heck, what can't SCIENCE! do for us? (Science is the one that looks A LOT like the wicked stepmother from Snow White)

about the ladies who put the radium on the watch faces? if that's what you mean, it was a horrifyingly sad sad story indeed.
Errrmmmm....that last condom sample? All I can say is, "Buddy, you're not getting anywhere near me with that thing on your prick."

But damn, those fonts are great!!!
Yay, I can make radium water in my own home!

And immediately get arrested by MI5. ;)
Pity the poor man whose penis suddenly mutated...and not in a good way.

It should perhaps also be noted that the Dr. Alfred Curie who is said to be the inventor of the formula for the cosmetic Tho-Radia face cream (Figure 3) was not a member of Pierre Curie’s family—although he was indeed a Curie.

Advertisement for Tho-Radia face cream and powder.
For many years, even the director of the Musée Curie in Paris assumed that he was “un médecin qui n’a jamais existé!” 20 And all radium historians until 2003 also considered that he was a mythical person used only for the promotion of beauty products in the 1920s (Huchette N, Musée Curie. Personal communication, October 2003). However, it now transpires that, although the mysterious Alfred was not related to Pierre Curie, he nevertheless existed 21, and in 1911, for his doctorate in medicine from the University of Paris, he submitted a thesis titled Treatment of Spina Bifida 22. He was traced through annual copies of Le Guide Rosenwald, which lists all French doctors and which shows that, in 1912, he was an internist at L’Hôpital de Clichy. Afterwards, he seems to have been in general practice, having set up a private clinic. He was born in 1873 and died in Paris in 1940 21.
Well, if you're going to let your body parts rot off from radiation poisoning, doing it surrounded by cool art deco packaging is the way to go!
I can only hope that the advertisers were liars and the closest thing to radium in their soaps and clothes, etc. was rock quartz.

The grossest, saddest abuse of a model was a film about Lucky Strike cigarettes, where the model was dipping the wrappers into a vat of mercury to show how they're water tight.

They couldn't just use water?
They didn't fully understand the effects of mercury, or consider them worth worrying about.

Ask anyone over 40 if they ever played with mercury - they'll say yes. We knew not to eat it, but we had a lot of fun in science class rolling a ball of liquid metal around in our palms. We also used to play with Wood's metal, a lead alloy that melts in hot water. Ah, our toxic childhood. :D

ETA, no lying (although I'm sure SOME manufacturers lied). There WAS radium, in very very small amounts. In fact, even a famous line of dishware, "Fiestaware" used to have one color, a vibrant orange, made with uranium. All the dishes are still "hot" to this day; hubby has a collection and we pointed a Geiger counter at it once. TICTICTICTICTICTICTIC!

Edited at 2011-11-23 04:45 pm (UTC)
But it's 100% natural! Natural is good for you!

I point out these ads whenever someone blindly endorses "natural" or "ecologically sound."

Phosphorus is natural, too, but your bones won't like you if you ingest a lot of it.
well there's a difference between "natural" and "should be in your body". Monsanto makes all sorts of things that shouldn't be in our bodies, but they managed to make an orange seem evil and simultaneously make chemicals seem just fine:

That depends on precisely which food they're talking about.

There's increasing evidence that the beloved staples of corn and potatoes are edible but not healthy in even "serving" amounts. In fact, to be made healthy, corn has for centuries been mixed with lime and wood ash. The Aztecs called it "nixtamal." Without it, that phosphorus I mentioned replaces calcium in your bones with disastrous effects.
I am not, but corn has been selectively bred and manipulated for about 10K years.

I don't blanket judge anything based on being "natural" or "artificial." Depending on terminology, all salt is artificial. We don't grind our own from salt licks anymore. We vacuum evaporate it from seawater and refine out certain toxic minerals, while adding others.
And he's right, mostly.

The fact that corn CAN be processed as fuel, food, silage is an advantage. Just be aware of it and don't overindulge.

I was quite amused in the Middle East where we got free soda made with sugar from our logistics chain that people would PAY for soda from the BX, because "It has a proper pop top [Arab produced soda still has pull tabs] and tastes the way soda should [made with corn syrup]!"