"It will put pink cheeks on you."
That is what the managers of Radium Dial in Ottawa, Illinois, told the young women who painted radium on the faces of clock dials in the 1920s and 1930s. Instead, their teeth fell out and their jaws and bones disintegrated. Instead of putting pink in their cheeks, it put the women in their graves.
The company knew the hazards of working with radium, but they took no safety precautions. They lied to the workers and they denied compensation to the victims. To avoid financial liability, Radium Dial closed its doors and reopened a few blocks away as Luminous Processes and continued its deadly work for another forty years.
Radium Dial cared more about the health and profitability of its company than they cared about the health of the women who made the company profitable.
There really was a "Society of the Living Dead," formed by the women who were dying from radium poisoning. Their astounding true story is told here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Susan L. Kelsey lived in the Sauganash neighborhood of Chicago on the site of Billy Caldwell’s former 1,600-acre reserve land received during the 1833 Treaty of Chicago. She found a bronze plaque signifying the boundary of historic Fort Dearborn and Caldwell’s Reserve and wanted to learn more about the history of Billy Caldwell, “Chief Sauganash.” Over the course of twenty-five years, Kelsey followed the trail of Caldwell through two countries, thirteen states, and thousands of miles, and met new friends along the journey, intersecting stories about Irish Native Americans and learning about the land we call America.
PUBLISHER: America Through Time
SERIES: America Through Time
DIMENSIONS: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)