Mold and Stamps for the Thomas Radioactive Cone (ca. 1935-1955)
This is one of the original molds used to produce the Thomas Cones. Sometime during the 1960s or 1970s, the rest of the molds were confiscated by the State of Texas from the home in Lubbock where the cones had previously been manufactured. Whether or not any of these other molds still survive, I don’t know.
The manufacturing process was more or less as follows:
- Mix cement and sand to a damp mixture.
- Fill the mold and hammer the mixture until it held together.
- Produce a depression in the center of the mixture with a cone-shaped hammer.
- Hammer in the uranium ore (from Utah).
- Pour more of the cement mixture into the cone and beat it down.
- Stamp the Tomas Cone logo on the end of the cone (see photo below left)
- Remove the cone and let it harden on a stone block.
The pictured mold, cones and stamp were kindly donated by the estate of Earl T. Ray.
James A. Ray. Personal communication.