I’ve always wondered if Firestone made these spark plugs knowing they didn’t really work the way they were intended.
It’s not a bad idea when you first look at it. The polonium is radioactive but the radiation would have been too weak to penetrate the box the spark plugs came in. Even if the radiation had been a little stronger the plugs were going to be put into steel cylinders so it couldn’t hurt anyone inside the car. The alpha radiation actually does ionize the air and make for better electrical sparks. After a while the polonium would just transmute itself into non-radioactive lead so there’s no environmental hazard.
The problem was if the plugs got even a little dusty inside the cylinder (something everyone who’s ever done a tune up can tell you happens to every plug) the dust would have created a radiation shield the alpha particles wouldn’t have been able to get through. The other problem is the short half life of polonium, which is only 138 days. That means that after about 4 and a half months any benefit from the radiation would have been cut in half and after a year and a half 96% of the radiation would have been gone.
I have several (8) ea New Old Stock Firestone Spark Plugs and I would like to know the age of them (when they were made)
I have 1 Each #F-130, 1 Each S-40-C,4 Each T-30-W, and 2 Each F-100 Spark Plugs
All new in the Original Box Stating “With Polonium” (Radioactive) Electrodes.
When were these made and are they of any value to Auto Restoration buffs.
Hugh Wright email@example.com