Radium Girls

In the Early 20th Century, the United States Radium Corporation paid girls to paint the luminous watch faces.

Author Kate Moore in the KGNU studio.

At the end of the day, their clothes and bodies shone with a ghostly light. As some of the girls began die mysterious and horrific deaths, suspicion was aroused that the radium was making them sick.

Kate Moore’s book “The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women” tells the shocking true story of the tragic death and tremendous courage that resulted in one of the most groundbreaking worker’s rights case of the century. Kate Moore spoke with KGNU’s Fiona Foster about the book which also has a local connection, the radium used to paint dials was extracted from Ore mined in Paradox Valley near Placerville, Colorado.

The book chronicles the lives and deaths of the women who lived in New Jersey and in Illinois: separated by 800 miles, but united in their determination to stand up for themselves – and workers everywhere.


To find out more about the book go to theradiumgirls.com.