Saturday, March 5, 2022

Radium as Supermetal

When Burroughs wrote Princess of Mars, radium was the new wonder metal.  Radium water baths were believed to be a source of health.  Radium was a component (or at least claimed to be) a component of many patent medicines.  I used to have some 1920s error quack medicine devices that purported to be radium containing.  (They did not glow in the dark, so color me skeptical.)

In Princess of Mars, Radium and its many yet undiscovered powers were at the heart of Martian technology. 

The horrors of radium poisoning of watch dial painters was still unknown.

1 comment:

  1. Radium as such doesn't glow. Usually the florescent material painted over it oxidizes and fails to convert the ionizing radiation from the radium to visible (greenish) photons.
    Unless you have a Geiger counter or other method of measuring radiation, you cannot tell if something that old has radium in it or mot)