Luma Inc., Spinthariscope (ca.1950s, 1960s)
|This is an inexpensive
black plastic spinthariscope produced by Luma Inc. The company letterhead
summarized their business as follows: "Radium luminous
compounds and fluorescent zinc sulphides manufactured and
applied." Luma Inc. operated a plant at 305 East 46th Street
in New York City, and a laboratory at 3532 Forbes St. in Pittsburgh. In
the mid 1960s, they seem to have vacated their NYC address and moved to
46-12 34th Street in Long Island City. Around this time, breath samples from the Luma
Inc. employees were analyzed by Victor Hess at Fordham University. Quite
likely, some of the equipment used by Hess can be seen
here and here.
As expected, radium-226 is used as the alpha source in this spinthariscope.
Copyright 1999, Oak Ridge Associated Universities