Six or more glasses daily!

Ephemera from the radium craze of the mid 1920s. A friend of mine wrote his doctoral dissertation on this stuff. In the first years after radium was discovered, the initial reaction on the part of both laypeople and scientists was basically, Wow this is amazing and powerful. It must be the stuff of life! Sure, a plant will die if you put it next to some of it, but that’s just because it can’t handle all the LIFE radiating out from it. There’s a sobering lesson in this, but I can’t quite decide if it’s that wishful thinking (or perhaps duplicitousness) will conspire to foist all manner of perils upon the unsuspecting, or simply that even those of us who know better, don’t always.

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from “vintage_ads: Today’s radium WTF,” vintage_ads, 9 December 2011 :: via boingboing.net

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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