Among the slightly more unusual and interesting electrotherapy electrodes found are radium electrodes, which hail from a bygone era of quackery, scientific discovery and mythology where electricity and radium combined were believed to have have purifying properties able to cure an eradicate serious illness. This was an era when it was thought that radium could potentially purify water. During this heyday of Radium numerous quack medical devices appeared on the market infused with a small amount of Radium, promising numerous cure-all benefits to users in the early 1900’s.
The above electrode is a neon condenser electrode with external radium pellets. If you bear in mind that this was an age beset with snake oil salesmen and many people trying to jump on the next popular bandwagon, to make a living. It is safe to add that not all these electrodes actually contain radium. Some pellets contain thorium, whilst others have paint applied to the surface like this French electrode below.
Other radium electrodes, include the neon radium rectal dilator electrodes, the curved thyroid electrode, and amplifying condenser electrodes, with contain an internal separate isolated chamber believed to contain thorium.