The Once “Wonder Drug” Known As Radium
- Time Period: 1918 to 1930s
Today, we are well aware that radiation and anything associated with it can be toxic to the human body. It is such an issue that we have to handle all radiation usage with extreme caution. Both Pierre and Marie Curie discovered radium back in 1898 and spent their entire lives studying radioactive materials. It is due to their sacrifice that we know the effects of radiation on the body. Both Marie and Pierre believed radium could be useful for a lot of things, and they were 100% right about that.
However, neither truly felt it needed to be used outside of specific needs. Yet quacks felt it could be used to cure numerous health complications. In the 1920s, some had the wild idea about adding Radium to drinks. One man named William J.A. Bailey invented RadiThor, which was basically radium dissolved in water. The Harvard drop-out was not a medical doctor but claimed the drink could “cure the living dead” and offer “perpetual sunshine.” He said it could cure impotence, aging, and treat arthritis too! Unsurprisingly, this was all crap. Several even died from radium poisoning.