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Topics in Chronicling America - Radium

When Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium in 1898, the market instantly became infatuated with the new element. Radium was used in everything from medicine to cocktails, providing useful medical benefits and luminous qualities that were used in consumer products. However, the dangers of radiation exposure were not fully understood at the time. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

A newspaper ad for "Radium and Beauty"

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • 1898. Radium is discovered by Marie Curie and her husband Pierre Curie in France.
  • 1904. Radium is used in paint, cocktails, and other objects to make them glow.
  • 1913. Radium is reported as an effective treatment in reducing the size of malignant growths.
  • 1918. Due to high demand, many are worried about a shortage of radium.
  • 1919. Radium is used in beauty products and makeup.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Radium, radium paint, Marie Curie, Pierre Curie
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  August 3, 2016
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