“Carefully researched, the work will stun readers with its descriptions of the glittering artisans who, oblivious to health dangers, twirled camel-hair brushes to fine points using their mouths.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Being someone with an inquisitive mind the author became interested in the event which was incorporated into a play. There was a good deal about what happened, the coverup, the trial but what about the women? In writing this work, the women take center stage and tell their story through documents, letters, diaries and the author did extensive research, interviews and as much information she could uncover to write their story.

I felt I needed to listen to them albeit extremely difficult… my emotions ran amok… how could these factory owners and management do that to these women?… but they did and the coverup was unforgivable. I don’t know if it was my empathy or sheer anger that did have me shedding tears.

This is the story of the young women who thought it was fortunate to be hired into the factories to paint glow in the dark numbers on clocks then during WWI dials needed by the military.

Excellent wages, true. Perfectly safe and actually good for you, false. When radium was first discovered by the Curies, not everything was known about it but to some it had benefits.

A doctor developed a paint formula using the radium and opened for business painting dials. It was a huge success, the money rolled in, more orders, more workers and time rolled on. Some of the girls started to develop symptoms but doctors were stymied as to the cause. I won’t sugar coat it, when the girls start to tell their stories it’s absolutely horrifying.

The author takes the readers from the beginning, the stories of the women, the trial and the outcome. The book includes photo and an ample section of notes.

I highly recommend this work.

 

Reviewed by:

Diana S. Long

Added 23rd May 2018

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Diana Long