Helium Once Worth $5,000 Costs under Two Cents (Dec, 1936)

It looks like Helium will remain cheap, at least for a few more years. (BTW, every single publication I saw felt the need to make a Helium pun in the headline)

Helium Once Worth $5,000 Costs under Two Cents
Twenty years ago it would have cost you $5,000 to buy enough helium gas to inflate a small balloon about two and one-half feet in diameter. Today the same amount of gas can be had for one and one-half cents. The drastic reduction in the price of helium since 1916 is due to the discovery by the U. S. Bureau of Mines of a method of recovering helium from natural gas instead of from the air.

8 comments
  1. Toronto says: April 30, 20137:19 pm

    I liked the “A noble fight over a noble gas” one.

  2. quadibloc says: April 30, 20138:02 pm

    The link seems to have already expired. I’m glad of a comment, since I couldn’t imagine any puns about Helium unless they involved its Princess, the incomparable Dejah Thoris.

  3. hwertz says: May 6, 20133:28 pm

    And now, the helium is again discarded; the US had virtually the only large-scale helium storage facility (owned by the US gov’t, using some tapped out natural gas fields as storage). But they were in process (maybe done now) of selling off this helium and closing this facility. Without this facility, most helium extracted from natural gas will instead be vented into the air never to be recovered again, as there is no economical storage for more than immediate supply needs.

  4. Toronto says: May 7, 201311:00 am

    It makes a pretty blue in a “neon” sign. Anyone got 5,000 km of 8mm glass tubing?

  5. Stephen says: May 8, 20134:41 am

    Toronto: what are you planning to use to strike an arc 5,000km long? I calculate you need 750 million volts for that!

  6. Hirudinea says: May 8, 20138:03 am

    There are 2,000,000,000 cats in the world, all we have to do is rub the tube with catnip and we’re in business.

  7. Toronto says: May 8, 20138:18 pm

    @Stephen: Well I was planning to segment off the tubing into more practical lengths. But then I read @Hirudinea’s idea.

  8. experiment 626 says: May 12, 20137:47 pm

    I just got a balloon filled yesterday and it was $6 only two less than the balloon itself but since I love sulley too much I gave in but I was thinking about this the entire time.

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