counter create hit Radium Girls: Women and Industrial Health Reform, 1910-1935 - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Radium Girls: Women and Industrial Health Reform, 1910-1935

Availability: Ready to download

In the early twentieth century, a group of women workers hired to apply luminous paint to watch faces and instrument dials found themselves among the first victims of radium poisoning. Claudia Clark's book tells the compelling story of these women, who at first had no idea that the tedious task of dialpainting was any different from the other factory jobs available to them In the early twentieth century, a group of women workers hired to apply luminous paint to watch faces and instrument dials found themselves among the first victims of radium poisoning. Claudia Clark's book tells the compelling story of these women, who at first had no idea that the tedious task of dialpainting was any different from the other factory jobs available to them. But after repeated exposure to the radium-laced paint, they began to develop mysterious, often fatal illnesses that they traced to conditions in the workplace. Their fight to have their symptoms recognized as an industrial disease represents an important chapter in the history of modern health and labor policy. Clark's account emphasizes the social and political factors that influenced the responses of the workers, managers, government officials, medical specialists, and legal authorities involved in the case. She enriches the story by exploring contemporary disputes over workplace control, government intervention, and industry-backed medical research. Finally, in appraising the dialpainters' campaign to secure compensation and prevention of further incidents--efforts launched with the help of the reform-minded, middle-class women of the Consumers' League--Clark is able to evaluate the achievements and shortcomings of the industrial health movement as a whole.


Compare
Ads Banner

In the early twentieth century, a group of women workers hired to apply luminous paint to watch faces and instrument dials found themselves among the first victims of radium poisoning. Claudia Clark's book tells the compelling story of these women, who at first had no idea that the tedious task of dialpainting was any different from the other factory jobs available to them In the early twentieth century, a group of women workers hired to apply luminous paint to watch faces and instrument dials found themselves among the first victims of radium poisoning. Claudia Clark's book tells the compelling story of these women, who at first had no idea that the tedious task of dialpainting was any different from the other factory jobs available to them. But after repeated exposure to the radium-laced paint, they began to develop mysterious, often fatal illnesses that they traced to conditions in the workplace. Their fight to have their symptoms recognized as an industrial disease represents an important chapter in the history of modern health and labor policy. Clark's account emphasizes the social and political factors that influenced the responses of the workers, managers, government officials, medical specialists, and legal authorities involved in the case. She enriches the story by exploring contemporary disputes over workplace control, government intervention, and industry-backed medical research. Finally, in appraising the dialpainters' campaign to secure compensation and prevention of further incidents--efforts launched with the help of the reform-minded, middle-class women of the Consumers' League--Clark is able to evaluate the achievements and shortcomings of the industrial health movement as a whole.

30 review for Radium Girls: Women and Industrial Health Reform, 1910-1935

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    4.5 rounded up. In my opinion, this book runs rings around Moore's Radium Girls, which was okay and did the job the author meant it to do. But after that one, I wanted to read an historical account of this story. Where Moore's account is more firmly focused on providing the human face of this tragedy, here we get down to the forces that allowed it to happen in the first place and the attempts made toward reform so that it could never happen again. The women's fight to gain recognition for illness 4.5 rounded up. In my opinion, this book runs rings around Moore's Radium Girls, which was okay and did the job the author meant it to do. But after that one, I wanted to read an historical account of this story. Where Moore's account is more firmly focused on providing the human face of this tragedy, here we get down to the forces that allowed it to happen in the first place and the attempts made toward reform so that it could never happen again. The women's fight to gain recognition for illnesses associated with the industry in which they worked was a long one, and despite the reformers' actions, was often impeded on several fronts. Clark discusses how the factory owners knew about the dangers of radium yet continued to not only deceive these women as to their safety, but it doesn't stop there. Self interest was another factor, in which scientists and physicians who received funding from these companies refused to divulge what they knew so as not to alienate those who funded their work. As she notes, the book traces "the failures of industrial health reform to a faith in the autonomy of 'experts' in both government and medicine." There's much more here, as she examines the "social and political factors that influenced the responses" of everyone involved. I was completely absorbed in this book, but I will acknowledge that it wasn' t perfect -- as just one example, as various topics are introduced into the narrative the author ends up having to provide a brief background so that the book becomes a bit overwhelming in terms of many histories going on at the same time which sort of pulls attention away from the real focus of her work. Many readers found this book to be "dry" or lacking sympathy for the dial painters themselves, but I didn't get those vibes at all. I know that a straightforward historical account is not everyone's cup of tea, but I was thoroughly engrossed throughout. more here: http://www.nonfictionrealstuff.com/20...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katie Boggs

    I couldn't put it down, yet found my skin crawling from both the inhumanity of the corporate world in its treatment of its workers as well as from the horrific injuries and illnesses described. I looked up images of the women; their faces haunted me. The Afterward was chilling as I realized that, although the book begins at the turn of the century, some of the companies involved were still both handling and denying residual radium into the 1990s. It also left me wondering...poisons that affected I couldn't put it down, yet found my skin crawling from both the inhumanity of the corporate world in its treatment of its workers as well as from the horrific injuries and illnesses described. I looked up images of the women; their faces haunted me. The Afterward was chilling as I realized that, although the book begins at the turn of the century, some of the companies involved were still both handling and denying residual radium into the 1990s. It also left me wondering...poisons that affected early twentieth century workers have been largely identified and regulated or banned, I.e., radium, benzene, mercury. What toxic substances are twenty first century industrial workers handling, that will be recognized and lamented by future generations? Are the workers toiling at outsourced factories any better protected than those that came before?

  3. 5 out of 5

    BJill

    So very hard to continue reading about these poor women that I had to take several “breaks” from it. I had no idea about this situation and the book did a good job educating around the events/timeline. Not a “feel good” book, but important information.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fishface

    This book started out to be the author's disseration, and it sure reads like one. She almost lost me right away by starting out with a lot of tedious stuff about the various committees, government agencies and special-interest groups involved in deciding where the radium dial painters' cases against their employers would lead in the future -- none of it handled lightly or grippingly, I'm afraid. A deeper search into the text brought me some of what I was looking for -- what the factory workers a This book started out to be the author's disseration, and it sure reads like one. She almost lost me right away by starting out with a lot of tedious stuff about the various committees, government agencies and special-interest groups involved in deciding where the radium dial painters' cases against their employers would lead in the future -- none of it handled lightly or grippingly, I'm afraid. A deeper search into the text brought me some of what I was looking for -- what the factory workers actually went through after ingesting radioactive paint and dust for months or years, and what they did about it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rita Bresnan

    This was a hard one to read because of the horror these women went through. The postscript was so shocking that I had to read it twice. God bless these wonderful women.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Excellent research on amazing event in history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    Ponderous. A slog.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews

    Whatever happened to the Radium Girls? Read this book and find out. I’ve been interested in the world of the radium girls for quite a while. I found this book and knew I had to read it. The information in this book is all there. The author digs deep to make the reader feel like he or she is right in the world of the girls. The good, the bad, the really bad…you’re there. For a story that has such a terrible ending, this book certainly captures all of the details. The thing is, this book reads like Whatever happened to the Radium Girls? Read this book and find out. I’ve been interested in the world of the radium girls for quite a while. I found this book and knew I had to read it. The information in this book is all there. The author digs deep to make the reader feel like he or she is right in the world of the girls. The good, the bad, the really bad…you’re there. For a story that has such a terrible ending, this book certainly captures all of the details. The thing is, this book reads like a textbook. If it’s supposed to be one, then fabulous. If it’s not, then it can get a bit tedious. The writing is reminiscent of a textbook, which might not appeal to many readers. Then again, if you’re doing a paper about the radium girls, then this is exactly the book needed. If you’re interested in learning about the radium girls, then try this book. It might be the one you’re looking for.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    This shocking story seemed too horrible to be reality. Kate Moore paints a vivid picture of these young vivacious women and their enthusiasm for life and work as their hopes and dreams turn to unimaginable nightmares. This true and tragic piece of history was disturbing but both inspiring and empowering at the same time. It was a perfect balance of personal story and historical detail to bring this story to light!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Monical

    I finally bought a copy of this book after failing to get it at the library. It is an amazing story and generally is well-written, but sinks to a preachy tone in a few places. Having worked with radioactive materials for much of my career, this story left me aghast, although the ability of the company owners to weasel out of accountability does not.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Fanning

    What a horrible journey through the history of radium and it’s use in watch dials. I was so shocked and sad learning about the blatant cover up and disregard for human life to make money. This could happen again with any new substance ! I was even more drawn to the story when I discovered that my grandmother worked in the Waterbury watch factory .

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mads

    I was very into this book for the first half, incredible topic that needed to be shared. I felt like the book went into depth about each person & their character/family/traits which was great, however I found myself losing attention after the first half. A book with a great topic, however my attention swayed after the first half I was very into this book for the first half, incredible topic that needed to be shared. I felt like the book went into depth about each person & their character/family/traits which was great, however I found myself losing attention after the first half. A book with a great topic, however my attention swayed after the first half

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    Significant story that should be much more well known! This isn't just a story about a few young women, but of an entire case which changed the way we see and deal with company safety procedures. It led to safety precautions during the Manhattan project and even today.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Olylaura

    Such a tragic story of these young women’s senseless death. But the change that they brought to our country was immense. The book was long and drug in some areas but is a story that needed to be told.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Such a sad story of corporate greed. I felt drawn to this book and all the horrific things that happened to these girls. I feel sick on what they had to endure.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Wright

    Sad to think about how business is more than people's health to some. These women fought to make life better for all of us.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Bellwood

    Could not put this book down.

  18. 4 out of 5

    JoAnn Chateau

    Worth your while. I was hoping they've made this into a movie... and they have (2018)!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gail Krecklow

    Rather disturbing account of big business versus the little guy. Or in this case, woman. Women being knowingly exposed to a deadly element for profit. They were expendable.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenine

    It started out slow and I was thinking how is the author going to make an entire book out of this subject. She definitely succeeded! A must read in the truth-is-stranger-than fiction category.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Interesting content and information, but I was not a fan of how the story was told.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sidney

    A very interesting book and the battle women fought to be compensated for injury and death.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sherri

    Everyone should read it. Everyone.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Amazing story, amazing women, amazing writing to weave all the facts/headlines/history together to make an engaging and eye opening book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelci

    The writing is closer to a 3 but the story is so important to know about, I bumped it up to a four.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    So much I didn’t know. Sobering and very difficult to imagine.

  27. 5 out of 5

    NcSark

    I truly enjoyed this historical work - the research is incredible. This book not only tells the story of the first documented workers of radium poisoning and their struggle to be diagnosed, recognized and compensated, but of the political, industrial and social landscape of that time that so often (though not always) prevented the workers from being treated properly in the first place. At first I was disappointed there wasn't more on the actual workers' lives but little is known about many of th I truly enjoyed this historical work - the research is incredible. This book not only tells the story of the first documented workers of radium poisoning and their struggle to be diagnosed, recognized and compensated, but of the political, industrial and social landscape of that time that so often (though not always) prevented the workers from being treated properly in the first place. At first I was disappointed there wasn't more on the actual workers' lives but little is known about many of them, save for press releases, personal files from those who worked on their behalf, and a portion of an autobiography one of the "radium girls" - Katherine Schaub - had published. But as I got into it, I realized the book was so much more than that: it lays the groundwork for the labour and corporate climate of the time and illustrates how the workers, along with an advocacy group known as the Consumers' League, had to fight to have their cases for industrial health and safety heard. Not only was it the 1920's but the workers affected by radium poisoning were mostly women, as were most of the members of the Consumers' League and many times the courts, employers and medical professionals tried to blame the workers for being "weak" or "susceptible" to poisoning. I can't imagine how that must have felt for these young women in their teens and twenties, working their first jobs only to be poisoned, disfigured and ultimately dying from the radioactive paint their employer gave them to use for painting watch dials. What I appreciated most about Clark's narrative is that she is careful not to make the dial painters' victims. Yes, they were victims of a willfully ignorant and negligent employer that cost many of them their lives. But Clark is deliberate in depicting them as agitators too, workers who were willing to fight and knew something was seriously wrong despite their health problems being dismissed time and time again. A costly and incredibly sad history lesson, one that is still repeated today when it comes to worker safety, just with different components.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    I picked up Radium Girls in perhaps a strange way: I'm working on a short story that uses their plight as a backdrop. The book was useful for the variety of historical information that it provided, and Clark's approachable tone turned what might otherwise be a fairly dry topic (in particular, the long stretches dedicated to the legality surrounding industrial health reform), into an enticing, morally complex, and important narrative. It's a story, of course, with which people ought to be more fam I picked up Radium Girls in perhaps a strange way: I'm working on a short story that uses their plight as a backdrop. The book was useful for the variety of historical information that it provided, and Clark's approachable tone turned what might otherwise be a fairly dry topic (in particular, the long stretches dedicated to the legality surrounding industrial health reform), into an enticing, morally complex, and important narrative. It's a story, of course, with which people ought to be more familiar, and the horrors suffered by these women stick with you long after you've set the book down. Clark's retelling is admirably even-handed, and while she (rightly) chastises the failures of industry, law, government, science, and reform movements of the time, it never feels like she's railing against these in a way that detracts from her message. And in my limited purposes for the book, I do think it was invaluable in helping me to give the narrative a sense of verisimilitude that it needs. Clark's notes are numerous and her sources pretty unassailable, but what sets Radium Girls apart is its ability to form emotional connections between the reader and the "Radium girls" themselves, and not in the cheap, cloying way of the newspapers of the time. I won't say I recommend this book for everyone, but if you have an interest in workers' rights or even the strangeness and danger of the 1920s, then I think this one is worth checking out; with that said, more time is given to the former, so be prepared to receive quite a few history lessons along the way. Worse things have happened, of course.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Frank Stein

    Overall a pretty disappointing read. Dealing as it does with the famous "Radium Girls," the New Jersey workers who got sick from painting glowing radium watch dials in the 1920s, and whose study led to the first confirmed cases of radiation sicknesses, this story potentially brims with human and social interest. Throw in Alice Hamilton, the industrial health wunderkind who was the first woman ever appointed to the Harvard faculty and who worked to prove that the U.S. Radium Corporation was at fa Overall a pretty disappointing read. Dealing as it does with the famous "Radium Girls," the New Jersey workers who got sick from painting glowing radium watch dials in the 1920s, and whose study led to the first confirmed cases of radiation sicknesses, this story potentially brims with human and social interest. Throw in Alice Hamilton, the industrial health wunderkind who was the first woman ever appointed to the Harvard faculty and who worked to prove that the U.S. Radium Corporation was at fault in the girl's sickness, as well as some of the greatest questions of the Progressive reform movement (NJ was the first state to pass a workman's compensation law in 1911, for instance), and there's a strong case to be made for this episode's historical importance as well. Yet the book cannot keep a clear chronology and often dwells on mundane and inconsequential details, making it a tough read. (Some details stand out, like the world's early obsession with ingesting radium as a potential panacea. The FDA warned early on against many radium health drinks because they didn't contain ANY radium, despite advertisements to the contrary.) There's some interesting stuff in here, but I wish it were better presented.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Megan Palasik

    I read this as part of an armchair chemistry class. I loved it and found it interesting all the things the girls did with the radium before we knew the side effects as well as what happened to them afterwards. I'm writing this review almost 4 years after the fact, so I don't have many details to review.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.