Glow-in-Dark?

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During WWII there was a substance available on Navy ships, in tape form, that one could place by light switches or other items one might want to locate in the dark (like a flashlight). This tape somehow absorbed light during the day, and at night gave off a faint glow, sufficient to be seen in a dark room.
Is there anything like that available today - in either paint or tape form - that one can use for such purposes in the home?
Thanks.
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CWLee
Former slayer of dragons; practice now limited to sacred
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CWLee wrote:

http://www.tapebrothers.com/Glow-Tape-s/253.htm
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Historical Note:
In first part of the last century, the military used radium to make glow-in-the-dark hands and numbers on government issue watches. The workers who applied this paint were not told of any dangers and would do things like lick the brushes before applying the paint to the dials. Many, if not all of them came down with radiation poisoning and the who incident became a famous test case about whether workers could sue their employers for ruining their health.
One benefit of the radium though... The watches did not need to be "charged" under light to stay luminous.
Many modern luminous paints require this "light charge" in order to work properly.
Google or Wikepedia "Radium Girls" for the complete story.
Personal Note - I remember my cousin showing us the radioactive dimes he purchased from the tourist store at Oak Ridge, TN during the early 1960's. That couldn't have been good either...
Beachcomber
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wrote:...

To be fair it should be noted that few if any people realized the danger.
I would suggest that it is very likely that the military applications described by the OP were not the current products but were the radioactive ones.
I can remember when consumer products (watches and clocks) had the radioactive materials. The military surplus Geiger counters would react to them. I also remember the X-Ray machines they had in shoe stores where they zapped poor kids (myself included) with large quantities of X-Rays to see if the shoes fit. We just did not know back then. Marie Curie likely died due to exposure to radioactive materials.

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My best friend has a old military radio with radioactive meter markings, its very rare. He figures although it still glows hazards are long past.
Might be worth a fortune.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Why would he "figure" that? If it is indeed "radium dial", the half life is roughly 1600 years so since WWII is only 0.03 half-lives...
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wrote:

I also played with the X-Ray machine in the shoe store by the 5 and Dime. Very cool...at the time! (late 50ties I think)
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Beachcomber wrote:

I don't know what Wikipedia has, but while it is true there was a problem with painting radium watch dials as described, the association w/ the military is simply wrong. The usage was common and like many things, the danger wasn't yet fully known/characterized, and general standards weren't the same then as now.
"Luminous" and "fluorescent" aren't the same, either...
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dpb wrote:

x-ray machine. Also remember the radium dials. Could also buy chemistry sets with real chemicals in them. Back then, stuff made in USA was far worse than the worst stuff coming from China today. We're living in a weenie world today ;)
Frank
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Frank wrote:

"Made in the USA" really had nothing to do with it -- it was simply what was standard practice of the time and generally things were "better" in that sense in the US than in many other places at the same time then as well...
The typically hysterical reaction these days over the most minimal of risks is, I'll agree, a "sign of the times".
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I wonder how much ( negative) excitement the Dupont chemical company would get these days with their 1950s slogan " Better Living through chemistry " Funny how we really believed it at the time.

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claude wrote:

And you would have one believe we would be better off without nylon, etc., ... ???
Thanks, but "no, thanks".
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Yeah. Let's go back to knob and tube wiring. No need for modern wire insulations; rubber and ceramic tubes are just fine.
    Dave
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dpb wrote:

That, of course, is the implication of "sole association" w/ the military...
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Many years ago when I had a darkroom in my house, I used the following UGL paint to mark off where the room light switch and various tools I needed were located: http://www.ugl.com/maintenanceRepairSpecialties/paintSpecialties/nite-brite.php
The glow lasted long enough to accomplish the usual tasks one had to do in total darkness before the safelight came into play.
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Radium should not be considered as glow in the dark since it actually gives out light and is radioactive. Do light bulbs glow in the dark?
Glow in the dark materials are those that absorb surrounding light and give out this light through a glow. This process is similar to photosynthesis and is what today's glow is all about.
http://www.glowinfo.com /
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snipped-for-privacy@glowinfo.com wrote:

I don't know why that shouldn't be "glow in the dark", it's what the purpose of using radium salts in paints was all for.
Purified radium does show some luminescence, but it's pretty low level comparatively and would require far more material by itself. The radiation emitted by radium can also cause certain materials, called "phosphors" to emit light. It was mixtures of radium salts and appropriate phosphors which were widely used for clock dials and gauges before the risks of radium exposure were understood.

Their products are actually one of three processes -- chemical reaction yielding light, uv-light reactive phosporesence, and the visible-light reactive photo-luminesence. The latter isn't to be confused w/ photosynthesis.
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on 11/10/2007 3:03 AM Beachcomber said the following:

I remember little cheap toy rings that were advertised to be able to see atoms in action when peering into the ring. I seem to remember they were a prize offered by a cereal company when you sent in a coupon on the box. I had one. What you saw was similar to pressing on your eyelid for a few seconds and then then releasing the pressure with your eyelid still closed and the little 'stars' would move about on your eyelid.
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When I was a kid (circa 1950) Japan made the crap like China does today. Our stuff was like Japan's stuff today (Ok, maybe not as reliable). Some of Japan's turn-around is credited to American statistician Dr. W.E.Deming who was invited there in 1951.
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if it doesnt have to be in any particular shape: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_idP07599

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