Lone Ranger Atom Bomb Ring Spinthariscope (1947 - early 1950s)




This ring spinthariscope was known as the Lone Ranger Atom Bomb Ring and advertised as a "seething scientific creation."  The Lone Ranger was more closely associated with silver bullets than atomic bombs but that's what it was called.  When the red base (which served as a "secret message compartment") was taken off, and after a suitable period of time for dark adaptation, you could look through a small plastic lens at scintillations caused by polonium alpha particles striking a zinc sulfide screen.


Distributed by Kix Cereals (15 cents plus a boxtop), the instructions stated: "You'll see brilliant flashes of light in the inky darkness inside the atom chamber. These frenzied vivid flashes are caused by the released energy of atoms. PERFECTLY SAFE - We guarantee you can wear the KIX Atomic "Bomb" Ring with complete safety. The atomic materials inside the ring are harmless."

The following advertisement was appearing in newspapers in early 1947.

  Spinthariscopes     Museum Directory  

Last updated: 05/10/11
Copyright 1999, Oak Ridge Associated Universities