Radium An actual Revigator
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An actual Revigator.
Revigators sell on a regular basis on eBay. (See above for a description of what a Revigator is.) I've seen them go for almost $500 for one in perfect condition. That's outside my price range, especially for samples that don't even have the element in pure form. But fortunately I found this ragged old one, missing its lid and spigot, for a much more reasonable price.

And it's just as radioactive as the others! Holding the probe outside it registers only about 2-3000 counts per minute, but if you stick the probe down into it, you get almost 100,000 CPM. Of course neither of these measurements is a meaningful reflection of the total body dose you would get from standing near it, let alone drinking water out of it. That's an experiment I may yet do. (I.e. let water stand in it for a couple of days, then pour it out and measure the radioactivity, if any, of the water as a function of time. I am not going to drink that water!)

I've listed the item under radium as well as uranium, because although it's lined with uranium ore, the Revigator is glazed with the words "Radium Ore Revigator". This is largely due to the fact that at the time "Radium" was the popular name that represented any kind of (good) radioactivity. And radium is, in fact, found as a small component in uranium ores, so it's no doubt present in some quantity in this Revigator too.

Here are some fascinating close-ups of the lettering glazed on the outside of this old pot:

Source: eBay seller bettyboop
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 13 November, 2002
Text Updated: 11 March, 2007
Price: $90
Size: 12"
Purity: <0.1%
Sample Group: Medical