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Filter used to produce radioactive water, England, 1901-1930

Filter used to produce radioactive water, England, 1901-1930

Credits: Science Museum

In the early years of the twentieth century, some people drank radioactive water in the hope that it would improve their general health and thereby prolong their life. These types of drinks were often known as elixirs. This glass filter, marked with the maker’s name, Radium Ltd, was infused with radioactive matter, which would make any water that passed through it mildly radioactive. At the time the health dangers associated with radioactivity were not appreciated and it was believed to have a range of beneficial applications.

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Glossary: water filter

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