Radon Pillow (1990s)
The "Radon Pillow" is a quilted pad filled with low grade uranium ore. It came with a coverlet (not shown).
There is nothing on it to indicate that it is radioactive, or that it will cure all sorts of ailments (e.g., arthritis). But you know and I know. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
The October 12, 1990 issue of the Wall Street Journal ran a front page story about the radon health mines in Boulder Montana, and the article mentioned the "Radon Pillow." A few phone calls later, I had tracked down the source of these pillows to a woman at the Sunshine Radon Health Mine. I believe her name was Mrs. Wagner. In any event, when I gave her my name and address, she exclaimed "Oh, I'm related to the Frames!" It turned out that her relationship to my family was through marriage. Nevertheless, it gave me great pleasure to know that a relative of sorts was in the business of making radioactive cures. A couple of years later a local health physicist, who had purchased one of these as a Christmas present, told me that Mrs. Wagner (?) had moved on to the Merry Widow Mine. This is born out by a recent (April 1, 2004) story in the Missoula Independent which indicated that radon pillows were available for $22.50 in the gift shop of the Merry Widow. The one shown here had cost $20 (plus $3 S&H).
Size: 10" x 14"
Exposure rate: Nothing detectable above background at one foot. Approximately 10 uR/hr above background on contact.
Donated by Paul Frame.