Radioactive Samples

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All my other element samples which contain something radioactive are also listed on this page.

These are my samples!

Vacuum Tube With Uranium AND Mercury

This most unusual vacuum tube, which serves as a rectifier for high voltage AC electricity, happens to also contain mercury, which vaporizes inside to help the almost-vacuum conduct a little better, and also employs uranium glass in the seals between metal and glass, because adding uranium slightly changes how the glass expands, so by having uranium glass between normal glass and metal, you can avoid the glass cracking/the metal falling out. Quite an unusual piece, a rare combination of three of my favorite things!

Date added(year-month-day):20111012, sample number:74

Tags(Elements in sample):uranium, mercury, vacuum, radioactive

Uranium Ore, Mined by Me!

This is some uranium ore, being mostly magnetite (iron ore) with a small percentage of uranothorite (uranium and thorium ore) mixed in, that I actually chipped off of a rock wall in a public park in a non-disclosed location... It felt good to actually find uranium just sitting around for anyone to grab, really makes you realize how common radioactivity is on Earth!

Date added(year-month-day):20111012, sample number:73

Tags(Elements in sample):uranium, radioactive

Mineral Kit, With Real Uranium Ore!

This nifty little mineral kit from some time in the 1950s, which unfortunately was a bit broken when I got it, and I originally thought the precious uranium ore was missing, however upon being exposed to short-wave UV light, one of the mineral samples had green fluorescent specks in it, thus proving it to be Autunite, a well known uranium mineral. Also for a laugh, check out what the booklet has to say about radium!

Date added(year-month-day):20111012, sample number:72

Tags(Elements in sample):uranium, radioactive

Thoriated Lens

This is an old Kodak "Pony" camera, vintage 1950-60s or so, I believe 35mm, and the first lens has a few percent thorium oxide mixed in for a higher index of refraction, I.E. smaller lens doing the same work as a big lens. Purchased for $5 from a local flea market, really lucky find.

Date added(year-month-day):20111012, sample number:71

Tags(Elements in sample):thorium, radioactive

Baltimore Radium Watch

This is a vintage pocket watch from about 1930-50s made by Ingraham clocks, and is particularly precious to me because it goes right out and says "RADIUM" on the dial, and there's nothing I like more then something that states the presence of an element. Sadly when I got it it was, as you can tell by the picture, pretty beat up, and missing it's front glass which makes it very dangerous, some of the radium paint has already flaked off the dial and there's hardly any left on the hands.. Immediately after this picture it was carefully sealed in a plastic bag, never to be disturbed again.

Date added(year-month-day):20110912, sample number:66

Tags(Elements in sample):radium, radioactive

Westclox Radium

Westclox is a nice old clock company which, on numerous occasions, employed radium-luminous paint on the numbers of it's many clocks. This specific series named either Big Ben or Baby Ben is one of my favorite to collect, because they tend to be highly radioactive, and because we share a name. The clock face in the front is believed to be pre-1930s, and is varnished to assure radium doesn't get everywhere.

Date added(year-month-day):20110903, sample number:58

Tags(Elements in sample):radium, radioactive

Uranium Glaze

Before 1943 when uranium found use in nuclear weapons and power, uranium was one of the world's favorite coloring agents, capable of making beautiful yellows, oranges, greens, even dark green and blacks. It was also cheap and plentiful because the radium industry created almost a ton of uranium as a byproduct for a GRAM of radium. This is a typical uranium-orange colored glaze, found on a miniature pitcher, probably from a little tea set. My first piece of orange glazed ceramics.

Date added(year-month-day):20110727, sample number:42

Tags(Elements in sample):uranium, radioactive

Thorium Mantle

These mantles where basically bags made of cloth that you'd put over a flame, and the first time you lit them they'd transform from cloth into EXTREMELY fireproof ash. The more fireproof the ash, the more brightly it could glow before being incinerated into useless dust, and just so happens there isn't much in the world that's more fireproof then thorium oxide. Oh, thorium is radioactive? I'm sure that's not a problem. Well, not until about 1990 when people started caring anyway.

Date added(year-month-day):20110727, sample number:41

Tags(Elements in sample):thorium, radioactive

Radium-Dial Watch

Radium, as you've probably heard, found most of it's use in luminous dials of clocks and watches, of which this is a prime example. Not only does it contain radium, but it contains a LOT of radium, as this little watch is more active then almost all my other watches. You can also tell it has more radium because the areas which used to glow are now burned brown from the radiation, if it had less radium it would look either pale green or white.

Date added(year-month-day):20110727, sample number:40

Tags(Elements in sample):radium, radioactive

Polonium Spark Plug

This spark plug produced in the 1940s was advertised as containing polonium, which was a well known name at the time, back when radioactivity was a fresh new science that was thought to be the miracle cure to everything. It might seem useless to put radioactive material in a spark plug, but in all actuality radioactivity ionizes the air around it, and ionized air conducts electricity better, which in this case means it's more likely to make better sparks. It's unlikely this tiny amount actually did much, and polonium has a half life of only 138 days, so after a year the effects would be gone either way... Almost 70 years old now.

Date added(year-month-day):20110727, sample number:39

Tags(Elements in sample):polonium, radioactive

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