Metal-Cased Revigator (ca. 1925-1926)
As far as Revigators go, the metal-cased version shown here is among the rarest. Its main virtue is obvious: portability. Whereas the standard Revigator was too big and heavy to take anywhere, this version could be packed in a suitcase or loaded up in a car, and taken wherever you wanted to go. The metal case provided the needed protection from the bumps and bruises that accompany almost any trip, and the case of this one has the dents to prove it.
Size: ca. 12" tall and 5" in diameter.
Exposure rate: ca. 16-18 uR/hr above background at one foot
Sometime in the mid 1990s, I loaded this into my old Toyota Tercel hatchback, along with a bunch of other items from the collection, and headed south to give a show-and-tell presentation for the Atlanta Chapter of the Health Physics Society. Just as I was arriving at the outskirts of Atlanta, I noticed that the needle of the car's temperature gauge was in the red. A serious overheating problem! So I took the next exit, found a place to park, opened the hood and checked the coolant. The system was bone dry. I had one bit of luck however, there was a water tap on the side of a nearby building. The problem was how to get the water from the tap to the car. Then I had one of my more creative ideas: use the Revigator! So that's what I did, I filled the Revigator up at the tap and transferred the now radioactive water into car's cooling system. It worked beautifully. The Tercel purred like a kitten all the way into Atlanta and back home. Alas, the benefits were relatively short-lived, and a few days later the entire cooling system had to be replaced.