Frightening Toys From the 1940s: Glow-in-the-Dark Tom Mix Cowboy Spurs

L.A. Times, 1947

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.

All right, kids, let’s do some math. 1947 take away 1940 leaves 7. That’s how many years Tom Mix has been dead.

Now some science… Does anybody have something at home that glows? Your dad’s wristwatch? The dial on your mother’s radio? How about the instruments in your car?

Who can tell me what makes those things glow? Right. It’s called radium. And why does it glow? Correct. It’s radioactive.

So what we have here, kids, is a long-dead movie star hyping a radioactive toy. Now you can either call the hazardous-materials disposal team to come to your house and take it away… or sell it on EBay for hundreds of dollars.

Bonus factoids: Even during his lifetime, Tom Mix was portrayed by a variety of actors in his radio show, and there was some attempt to turn his persona into an early 1950s TV show starring Monte Montana.

Mix was driving on the Florence Highway in Arizona when he failed to slow down for a detour around a bridge that was under construction and plunged into a ditch. His neck was broken by a heavy suitcase on the shelf behind his head.

The wrecked 1937 Cord 810/812 coupe in which Mix was killed was sold for $100 in 1942 and has been restored—complete with Mix’s holster. The suitcase that killed him is on display at the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Okla.

Tom Mix glow-in-the-dark spurs for sale on EBay for $150.

Quote of the day: “Bizarre, brutal, frightening.”
National Association for Better Radio and Television, on “Captain Midnight,” “Captain Video,” “Dick Tracy,” “Eastside Kids” and “Ramar of the Jungle.”

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, Comics, Film, Hollywood and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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