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That Special Glow

By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 03, 2013

We’ve seen one of these ads before, in a collection of medical quackery advertisements from the early Relief Society Magazines. That wasn’t a one-time thing, though: the company ran ads for this product for the better part of a year. Here, for your glow-in-the-dark enlightenment, is the whole series:

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August 1926

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September 1926

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October 1926

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November 1926

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December 1926 – January 1927

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February-March 1927

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June 1927

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July 1927



11 Comments »

  1. Advertisements like these make me wonder what we’ll be scoffing at in 20, 50, or 100 years. Ok, I won’t be scoffing in 100 years, but I plan to still be feisty in 50 years.

    Comment by HokieKate — May 3, 2013 @ 7:47 am

  2. And people thought flouridated water was a Communist plot . . .

    Comment by Grant — May 3, 2013 @ 8:14 am

  3. “Female problems” I first thought of your girlfriends’ drama.

    This is part of your Relief Society duty to buy this and give it. That pitch is still in use.

    Comment by Carol — May 3, 2013 @ 8:28 am

  4. These advertisements are great! We scoff, but the jars are still with us–in private collections, museums, and antique shops. Radium jars are considered one of the most potentially dangerous common collectibles. They were made by incorporating uranium in the clay for the pot. The theory was that the radioactivity would transfer to the water. In most cases, the amount of uranium was miniscule, but some can send a geiger counter needle soaring.

    Comment by blueagleranch — May 3, 2013 @ 8:39 am

  5. I’m shocked to see that they couldn’t claim to have any cures for “old age.” I wonder what the outcome was for the 26 individuals not benefited? Were there accompanying ads for life insurance next to these?

    Comment by kevinf — May 3, 2013 @ 9:07 am

  6. I am really disappointed to see that it cured “000” cases of Old Age. What good is that stuff, after all??

    When I was a missionary in Japan nearly a half century after these ads were published, there were still some public baths that offered special pools with some small amount of radioactivity. I never went into one of them. There were others in which a small electric current flowed. One was warned not to sit too low in that, since it might temporarily paralyze one so he couldn’t get out. I tried it briefly–and definitely did not like it!

    Seeing “synergest” did make me think of words like “synergize” and “synergism” and “win-win” and then I thought that quackery must be alive and well in our day–it just wears different clothes.

    Comment by Mark B. — May 3, 2013 @ 9:07 am

  7. That admission that radioactive water fails to cure old age is the one legitimate remark anywhere in these ads!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 3, 2013 @ 9:18 am

  8. Not so fast, Ardis. With internal administration of sufficient quantities of radium during youth and middle age, one might escape old age entirely.

    Comment by Lee — May 3, 2013 @ 11:56 am

  9. Um, you’re right, Lee! :D

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 3, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

  10. …Guaranteed for a lifetime to produce a greater amount of radioactivity than is found in any World Known Health Spring.”

    And that, folks, is the problem.

    I’m surprised Radium Hot Springs (an hour west of Calgary) isn’t listed among the health spas.

    Comment by The Other Clark — May 3, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

  11. Calling Dr. Wire, here’s the miracle cure for your new hospital in Sky Valley!

    Comment by kevinf — May 3, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

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