Radioactive Safety-Control System (Feb, 1954)

This man was later diagnosed with the only known case of wrist cancer.

Radioactive Safety-Control System
Radioactive crystals and Geiger tubes make a punch press at a United Air Lines maintenance base accident proof. Operators of the press wear wristbands containing the “hot” crystals. Three Geiger tubes enclose the punching area. If hands stray into danger, the tubes pick up radiation from the wristbands and instantly halt the machine —even in midstroke. The machine will not run unless the operator wears the bands.

7 comments
  1. 4th guy says: September 10, 20071:05 am

    Is this the definition of irony?

  2. mrchurchill109 says: September 10, 20074:30 am

    Actually, with the technology of the time that’s a very good design. If the crystals are a relatively innocuous alpha emitter (weak) there’s no significant health risk if there’s a shield of any kind at all between the operator’s skin and the material.

    Frankly, his chances of getting any kind of cancer from a low level exposure like that are a helluva lot kinder than losing a hand or worse in a punch press (very messy and nasty).

    Alan

  3. Erika says: September 10, 20076:55 am

    now, if only they’d started applying this sort of technology to farm machinery: seriously, out here in farming country almost all of the old-timers that I meet have lost at least a finger or two…my 6 neighbours only have 4 arms and 6 hands between them, and they’re still farming.

  4. Dave says: September 11, 20074:15 am

    4 arms and 6 hands? How does that work?
    I’ve not seen many arms endowed with multiple hands, but I guess they are really inbred in farming county so anything is possible.

  5. Village Idiot says: September 11, 200712:53 pm

    Dave: Ericka said “…4 arms and 6 hands between them” which I took to mean those parts were still laying on the ground after a recent incident. And does your in-depth knowledge of the genetic diversity (or lack thereof) of farm country come from personal experience?

  6. Ceridan says: March 26, 200812:04 am

    I think Ericka meant, 4 sets of arms, and 6 hands.
    She was just speaking engrish is all :)

  7. JDk1981 says: July 14, 20082:44 am

    lol great call on that one

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