Come On, Let's Go.

Junior Prospectors

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen was a considerably better book that it had any right to be. From its early attempts to present Jimmy Olsen as a tough guy -- he punched out a mobster at least once an issue in the first year -- to its later use as Jack Kirby's jumping-off point for the Fourth World -- he was given any choice of book to write for by DC and picked Jimmy Olsen because it had no regular writer and, therefore, no one would lose their job -- the book was a veritable hayride of wackiness. Admittedly, my fondness for the series might be a little influenced by the fact that I read most of the Volume 1 phonebook reprint after being awake for roughly 30 hours, but it's still one of my favorite comics, and one of the most original books I've ever read.

Anyway, combining my love for this comic and for 1950's blase treatment of radioactivity is this page. Keep in mind that what you're reading is the completely innocuous framing device; in fact, I suspect the only reason they're using uranium is because it's more modern-ca.-1955 than gold. The actual story involves Jimmy and Superman tricking these kids into thinking they are wildly hallucinating because they were too cocky about trying to find all that ore. Or something. You can find the whole story in the reprint book I linked above, which I heartily recommend whether you enjoy this page or not.



Co. Historical Instrumentation Collection

I have previously delved into the 1950's bizarre penchant for finding consumer uses for that newly-discovered cure-all, radiation. So, in that spirit, here is the shoe-fitting fluoroscope. Why yes, this machine does use those very same X-rays for which you now have to equip lead armor while the technician flees the room. And, unlike a modern x-ray, instead of a momentary BRZAP, you get a good fifteen to twenty seconds of this action. You can read more about how we irradiated the boomer generation in the name of comfortable footwear here


Just Radioactive Enough

Considering how haunted the 1950s were by the Red Wraith of Atomic Armageddon, it is amazing that the Dorothy Gray cosmetics company took it upon themselves to claim they irradiated a human being in the name of cold cream superiority. Real or not, the model's split-second look of genuine confusion and discomfort at the clicking Geiger counter thrust toward her face says it all.


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