Before we understood that radiation exposure can be deadly, people thought it was just a fun ingredient to make things glow. Here are some of the amazing, disturbing products from those simpler times. None of these would be deemed even remotely safe today.
Produced from 1940 to 1945 in Germany by Auergesellschaft of Berlin. It contained small amounts of thorium, but its radioactivity level was really low.
Tho-Radia products in the 1930s
Tho-Radia made a whole product line of perfumes, creams, facial powders, lipsticks and other beauty products that contained thorium-cloride and radium.
Radioactive chocolate bar
It was sold by the German company Burk & Braun between 1931 and 1936, and it made people younger, according to the promotion.
Radithor or the "Perpetual Sunshine" from the 1910s
It was just triple-distilled water with at least one microcurie of Radium-226 and 228 isotopes, manufactured between 1918 and 1928 by the Bailey Radium Laboratories, East Orange, New Jersey.
Radithor was advertised as a medicine for arthritis, rheumatism, mental illnesses, stomach cancer and impotence. Eben Beyers, a wealthy American socialite, athlete and industrialist believed in Radithor, and drank nearly 1400 bottles. He became really ill in 1930 and stopped taking the radioactive water, but it was too late: he died in 1932, after parts of his mouth and jaw were surgically removed.
Batschari Radium Cigarettes
Produced by the A. Batschari tobacco company in Baden-Baden, Germany from c. 1910 to 1915.
Luminescent clock and watch faces of the early 1900s
The digits were painted using Radium paint, created by the United States Radium Corporation. The Radium Girls (pictured below) often prepared their brushes by licking the bristles, which caused radium poisoning, dental problems and facial bone problems.
In the 1920s a bakery in St. Joachimstal (now Jachymov, Czech Republic) started to produce radium hardtacks using radium water.
Vita Radium Suppositories
Produced by the Home Products Company in Denver, Colorado during the 1930s.
"Weak Discouraged Men! Now Bubble Over with Joyous Vitality Through the Use of Glands and Radium"
(via Web And Time)
Radium Condoms by NUTEX
That's how they made glowing lightsabers in the 1940s.
Radium Ore Revigator
This medical device was patented in 1912 by R. W. Thomas and manufactured by the Radium Ore Revigator Co., which sold thousands of them in the 1920s and 1930s. It was basically a ceramic water crock lined with radioactive materials (uranium, vanadium, radon), lead and arsenic.
(via Carl Willis)
Radium Hand Cleaner – "It Takes Off Everything But The Skin"
In the 1910s, the Radium Compound Company of Phoenix, New York produced these hand cleaners, which were recommended for "Kettles, Frying Pans, Pails, Stewpots, Roasters and Tea Kettles."
Heidelberger Radium Pastillen
(via Dissident Media)
A solution for eye problems
(via déchets radioactifs)