My polonium-powered Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring


Originally published at:


I don’t understand the connection between the Lone Ranger and nuclear weaponry.


Seems he should have been fighting werewolves with the silver bullets?


Sweet Jesus that’s awesome!

And probably not all that dangerous, because polonium decay produces alpha particles which can’t pass through even a thin sheet of metal.


Seriously. That’s more of a Roy Rogers-level anachronism.


I found a vintage pin of some Buck Rodgers like hero I think from the 30s. The awesome thing is it is still on the card board backer! The bad thing is there is a small chip from the pot metal wing… still, I should sell it to a collector who is a big fan of these things.


Polonium? Isn’t that super/mega/ultra/hyper toxic? It’s what they used to kill that Russian in London many years back. What was fascinating to me in the investigation was that they could track the movements of people who were just carrying the murder weapon (a fraction of a gram of polonium IIRC) by the trace isotopes left behind in various locations.


You can even buy polonium 210 online. Fortunately it would take 15,000 orders to equal a toxic amount, so presumably there’s a limit to how many they’ll sell you. Still, might be enough to a DIY Lone Ranger kitsch ring. [ETA: It would seem I’m probably in error either about how much is toxic or how much was in the ring to begin with.]

I can see the ads now. “I played with radioisotopes as a kid and I turned out fine. Just look at my radiant glow!”

Only if you can get a hold of about a million bucks worth of it without anyone suspecting your intentions aren’t innocent. Or you can become the autocrat of a nuclear power.


Make sure to order it only in 1000 unit orders so you don’t trip some algorithm!


Probably this:


AAAAAH! I just found one of these when going through my dad’s old things and had no idea what it was!

ETA: Found it again, and it’s in nice shape!


Why do you think Los Alamos was selected? The Lone Ranger and Tonto were scouting locations in the West for top secret government labs.


The Lone Ranger was canonically the great-uncle of the Green Hornet, who was hot on the trail of a missing atomic device in the 1945 radio episode “The Boathouse Mystery.”

Glad to help clear that up.


polonium decay produces alpha particles AND energized polonium atoms. Hope that thing was sealed, real well.

Polonium is 200x as toxic as cyanide, and due to it’s energetic decay it can travel -against- air currents which isn’t normal. The stuff blows itself apart and spreads everywhere.

It’s really really really bad for you.


Half life of 138 days. 1947.


When I was a kid I had a cloud chamber kit from Edmund Scientific that included a little baggie of powdered uranium ore and a radium pin to use as a source. You also needed to get some dry ice to chill the thing down. Something every 7th-grader needs, I think.


I don’t mean it’s toxic today. I do mean the promotional item probably killed someone c.1947-48 and they didn’t have the medical surveillance in 1947 to draw that connection. About that much Po is what was put in Litvenenko’s tea the other year. And yes, it turns to lead, eventually.

Looks cool, entirely, and it will never cease to amaze me what our parents and grandparents didn’t know about poisons.

(although, we knew polonium was a deadly poison, even in 1947)

Did this come ‘safely sealed’ in a wax paper envelope in a box of food?



Polonium decays into lead – the tiny amount in the ring is long since become lead.


They really like domino masks in that family, don’t they?


A good descriptor of toys from yesteryear.

Anyone else remember “Death from Above” ? Or its shelf name, “Jarts”. Seriously, it was like you were asking kids to duplicate a charge against English longbows.