(source: https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/94/plutonium)

Plutonium can be produced in a breeder Reactor from nuclear fission: Process And Plant For The Thermal Breeding Of Plutonium (1960). Once the plutonium has been produced it needs to be separated from the original uranium: Improvements In Or Relating To Methods Of Separating Plutonium (1956). One of the uses for plutonium is as an isotopic power fuel for thermoelectric generators: Plutonium Heat Source (1971). 

One of the most bizarre uses of plutonium imaginable, is described in this patent from 1951, in which plutonium salts are used in “carroting” animal fur fibres to produce fine felt for gentlemen’s hats: Improvements In Or Relating To The Treatment Of Animal Fur Fibres (1951). Originally mercury salts would have been used and the poisonous effects of the use of mercury in hat-making has been personified in Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter character. What would he have made of plutonium?


All patent information has been obtained from Espacenet (European Patent Office).