|A Most Amazing Booklet about Revigators.
This book is just incredible. I can't even begin to describe how hilarious it is in places, knowing what we know now about radioactivity. The beautiful thing is, it could have been written today, if you just substitute your favorite current alternative health fad for the substance they are extolling (known in the book as "niton" or "emanation"). All the same arguments, proofs, and fundamental confusions about how the world works are there, right down to the claim that it can't possibly be harmful because it's not a drug or medicine, it's all natural. The "it" being radon gas, which is now known to be one of the most powerfully toxic substances in the world, so toxic that even barely measurable concentrations from natural sources are a problem in many people's houses.
This 20-page booklet is an ad for a product called the "Revigator", which charged your drinking water with radon gas, in case you were missing the benefits of this all-natural substance in your daily life. And it really did emit radon: The product was, unfortunately for its users, not a fraud. It was lined with carnotite (Hydrated Potassium Uranyl Vanadate), a uranium ore which, like any uranium or thorium ore, emits radon gas at a steady rate as a decay product of the uranium.
I've listed the item under radium as well as uranium, because although it's lined with uranium ore, the Revigator is glazed with the words "Radium Ore Revigator". This is largely due to the fact that at the time "Radium" was the popular name that represented any kind of (good) radioactivity. And radium is, in fact, found as a small component in uranium ores, so it's no doubt present in some quantity in this Revigator too.
I have scanned the book and prepared a PDF file for your reading pleasure. There are two versions, a plain one for reading on screen and a double-sided one where the pages seem to be out of order until you print it out double-sided and saddle-staple the result. The second file is ideal if you want to create your own copies of the booklet to hand out to your new-age friends. (This book is technically copyrighted, but so far as I am aware the company that owns the copyright is long defunct, so I really doubt anyone cares.)
If you're interested in radioactive things, here is a book I strongly recommend.
In December of 2002, this booklet was de-accessioned from the table: This is the first time I have ever parted with a sample, and may be the last, as it was something I did only after weeks of agonizing deliberation. The reason for parting with it was that I was offered, by a highly reputable collector who wishes to remain anonymous, nearly a pound of solid machined uranium metal (see uranium) in exchange for it. Depleted uranium is something that simply isn't available at any price, and after seeking advice and council from learned individuals, I decided that all I really care about is the PDF version of this booklet anyway.
Source: eBay seller daddio
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 8 November, 2002
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Sample Group: Medical