Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ah, the Good Old Days . . .

. . . when all you needed to feel your best was a radioactive suppository. (Bet grandpa never told you about those, did he?)

You read right. The 1898 discovery of the radioactive element radium by Marie Curie (who may have suffered from Uncombable Hair Syndrome) quickly led to the launch of countless products that were said to do a body good.

Radium became the secret ingredient in tonics, face creams, toothpaste, and suppositories that were sold well into the 1930s. There was also delicious Radium chocolate (shown below), which claimed to rejuvenate those who ate it (but probably just dissolved their tongues).

According to Fogonazos, small amounts of radium were even added to tea, ice creams, lipsticks, bath salts, and Halloween costumes that glowed in the dark. Most were eventually pulled from the shelves, but not before they sickened (or killed) many an American.

I don't even want to think about what happened to the people who purchased those suppositories. Of course radium wasn't the only harmful chemical that was sold in pharmacies. Cocaine and morphine were once wildly available. There were even opium-based baby medicines with names like "Mother's Helper" that claimed to help with teething pains! Poor little tots. They were drug addicts before they could speak.

Read more here.


Anonymous Patsee said...

I've heard of most of those, except for the chocolate. You wouldn't think it would take that long to realize how dangerous radioactivity is.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Patsee said...

D'you think this might be the origin of the word "radiant?"

8:05 PM  
Anonymous eli╬ęz said...

mothers helpers are bogus!!!!!

8:07 PM  
Anonymous kikistrike96 said...


8:57 PM  
Blogger Zodiac girls said...

Yeah I heard of that. It is queite strange..... Reminds me when my freind em injected yes injected a strange substance that she made into her arm. She claimed it made her more energy but was given a rash. I know she is crazy! She is just you're regular or iregular topaz or Dede

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have acutally heard of the chocolate before. i never really knew what it was untill i read an article abotu radioactivity on the internet.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

Chocolate... Yum! [but I'm not eating that! OoO]

11:09 PM  
Blogger Random Irregular said...

That is so sick[bad way, not good]. I know for a fact women used to use arsenic to beautify themselves. What is it with health products and deadly chemicals/elements?

"Hmmmm, a spot of radium will do the trick ;)"

1:45 AM  
Blogger DaviMack said...

Well, but perhaps the suppository kept any odors at bay: by killing off all of the bacteria, wouldn't you eliminate the methane production? There are benefits!

Seriously: it makes you wonder what else might be found to be hideously bad for us - natural as well as manufactured (because radium is natural, isn't it?).

3:59 AM  
Blogger TadMack said...

Suppositories. Whoa. Nothing like bowel cancer direct.

Makes me wonder: did people's ...poop glow?

4:08 AM  
Anonymous dangerous said...

there were probably a LOT of little Spidermen and Wonder Women running around.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City said...

Patsee: Interesting question!

Zodiac Girls: Whoa.

Davimack & Tadmack & Dangerous: Hilarious AND Insightful!

9:36 AM  
Blogger liltomboyblue11;) said...

wow. scary. if you go to target, in the 'return your items' area, on the side of the wall is a list of objects that were canceled because of dangerous aspects of it. you'd be really surprised if you knew how many baby toys contained lead.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous sekrit7 said...

What is with alll these "health" products?!

1:04 PM  
Anonymous phoenix said...

scary. makes you wonder if this is a plausible explaination for those of us with unusual "quirks".

2:57 PM  

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