In a Single Spoon… the power of all the world’s radium (May, 1954)

November 2011 was the sixtieth anniversary of cobalt 60 being first used to treat cancer successfully in a Canadian woman.

In a Single Spoon… the power of all the world’s radium

So terrifyingly powerful is Cobalt 60 — radio-active offspring of the atom bomb and great new weapon in the fight against cancer — that a single spoonful produces as much radiation as all the radium in the world.

And Cobalt 60 is but one of many radio-active isotopes, spawned by the Atomic Age, that offer benefits and advances in medicine, industry and agriculture. Realization of these promises depends in part on development of economical and versatile materials for shielding the ffhot” isotopes.

One such material is Mallory 1000 Metal, a high density alloy of tungsten, nickel and copper that has already proved itself a highly effective shield for ”containing” deadly radiation.

Requiring far less space than other shielding materials, Mallory 1000 also is easily machined to almost any size or shape and thus lends itself to a wide range of applications . . . storage containers for isotopes . . . reactor shields . . . oil well loggers . . . medical equipment . . . many kinds of meters and instruments.

Because of its high density and machinability, Mallory 1000 is widely used in gyroscope rotors and in counterbalances where great weight is required in small space.

It is a unique and versatile product—typical of the precision quality of all Mallory products in the fields of electronics, electrochemistry and specialized metallurgy.


Electromechanical • Resistors, Switches, Television Tuners, Vibrators.
Electrochemical • Capacitors, Rectifiers, Mercury Batteries.
Metallurgical • Contacts, Special Metals and Ceramics, Welding Materials.

  1. Nomen Nescio says: January 30, 20126:57 am

    carrying cobalt 60 around in an ordinary tablespoon isn’t precisely what i’d call safe. the stuff’s been responsible for a number of radiation sickness deaths, usually after escaping from insufficiently secured medical devices. it’s useful, to be sure, but a quite dangerous tool.

    Mallory Alloys is still around and selling various industrial alloys. they still offer this one, too, but their “radiation shielding” product is some other formulation now.

  2. Sonny Moon says: January 30, 20128:55 am

    I stir a spoonful of the stuff in my coffee every morning.

  3. Hirudinea says: January 30, 201211:16 am

    @ Sonny Moon – That’s why you have that “healthy” glow. 🙂

  4. Sonny Moon says: January 30, 201212:53 pm

    Keeps me regular, too!

  5. GaryM says: January 30, 20121:09 pm

    I wonder how long the photographer lived after that.

  6. Kosher Ham says: January 30, 20121:22 pm

    The old tube radios in cars used vibrators before the advent of transistors. (Note: list of products below.)

    I don’t think that they marketed vibrators as a marital aid.

  7. Nomen Nescio says: January 30, 20121:50 pm

    @GaryM, if they were smart they of course photographed a spoonful of plain iron filings. (hey, it’s not like i’d be able to tell, either.) but even if it was the real stuff, so long as none of it got inhaled or stuck in/on anybody’s clothing, a photo session shouldn’t be long enough time to do damage — it’s just that, if anybody bumped the spoon and spilled it, you’d have to write off the whole studio.

  8. Charlie says: January 30, 20121:58 pm

    Nomen Nescio: I don’t even think a normal camera would have worked. The radiation probably would have exposed all the film.

  9. JMyint says: January 30, 20122:59 pm

    The dangerous part about radio-active cobalt is that your body will take it up like iron, there fore raising the exposure time to 27 half-lifes.

  10. Charlene says: January 30, 20129:32 pm

    That’s a drawing anyway, not a photograph.

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