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The Radium Girls


The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger.
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Discuss The Radium Girls by Kate Moore:
How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

Created: 07/29/18

Replies: 18

Posted Jul. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 356

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RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

During difficult financial times, people do a lot of things for money. Consider the young age of sweat shop workers in developing countries, the age of children making bricks/ digging for gold or other minerals, etc. in developing countries.


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 106

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RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

One doesn't have to go to developing countries to see youth working to support themselves and their families. I've taught kids who have to work on top of going to school to pay for their school clothes. One boy used to work in a pool hall after closing to clean up and then slept on a pool table before coming to school. I found this out, when he kept falling asleep in class. That was right in the State capital of New York. Look at the people in this country who are holding down two and three part-time jobs for wages that cannot support them and their families. Part-time because the companies don't have to give any benefits to part-timers nor overtime so they have a skeleton staff of full timers to run the show and peons to do the work. Look around --times have certainly changed since I was working and not for the better.


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 222

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RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

During the Depression era, when much of this story took place, the pressure to keep a job if one had one was intense, and it is hard to imagine anyone leaving a paying job when putting food on the table depended on the income from employment. The prevalence of the two income family today shows the continuing power of economic pressure.


Posted Aug. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
evelyng

Join Date: 02/07/18

Posts: 8

RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

Women were fortunate to have a good paying job in those days. These young ladies came from ordinary working class backgrounds and to make extra good money was a bonanza for them. They could enjoy buying the things that all young girls want...clothes, hairdressing and have money for fun times also. They depended on the monies that they themselves were bringing into their homes and families to live a better life and had no thoughts that they were being exposed to such impending horror, however slowly but surely it was moving upon them via the effects of the radium they were working with.


Posted Aug. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 176

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RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

These young women felt fortunate to have a job in hard times. Many came from large families which needed the income to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. The companies were telling them the radium was harmless and they wanted to believe that was the truth because they needed the money. Plus, it was a time when women didn't question those above them. Desperation breeds desperate actions.


Posted Aug. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

Well, as said, large families needed more funds and as the economy was going down these girls wanted to and were expected to help the family. I am not sure of the economic problems facing the families, but this was an approaching depression after a war in which many men were killed or maimed. Women were also able to expand their lives and enjoy their lives and friendships. All of them needed money and these were good paying jobs


Posted Aug. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tigerlilly

Join Date: 08/11/18

Posts: 7

RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

This was such a pivotal time in our history where young women are being given among the first opportunities to work outside the home and to enjoy a taste of independence in changing times, it is so tragic they became among the first victims of corporate greed. These ladies were led to believe they were part of a privileged group, the luminous girls, and happy to be something almost artistic (working in studios not factories) and certainly patriotic during the war. While money was a concern, I think it was unfathomable to them that they were destroying their lives. It's unfortunate that news didn't travel at the time to let these ladies know their medical costs would far out weigh any economic benefit they realized in the beginning.


Posted Aug. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 49

RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

The dedication of these women and their families to continue to pursue the radium industry for work was astonishing, especially as their health declined. I know they didn’t straight away understand that the radium was the cause, but their dedication to work, despite their increasing physical ailments and limitations was very inspiring but also sad- they could have had easier remaining years if only their employer had been held responsible for their injuries.


Posted Aug. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 185

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RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

katherinep, thanks for sharing your personal story. I admire the determination of people of all ages who do whatever it takes to survive and try to make a better life for themselves and their family. The economic times always dictates to what degree we will go to in order to continue our way of life.


Posted Aug. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
audrey1

Join Date: 09/02/13

Posts: 29

RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

People need to work so their families can have a place to eat. The women could not imagine how diabolical the radium companies could be. There was also very little litigation that supportive safety and health standards for workers. Think of all the day to day examples of workers safely and health being protected my law. Any person working fixing streets, etc have a easily identifiable shirt on. Workers are given sately belts if the do stocking in stores. There is also some litigation and lawyers who will fight in the courts to expand safety protections. That is how we got OSHA and the EPA which one party is trying to destroy.


Posted Aug. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annar

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 62

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RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

The women were so happy to have a job and making their own money. So many of them were so young and had not had the opportunity to earn their own money to buy some things for themselves. Also. during difficult financial times, it would have been very hard to quit a job that the money earned helped their families. If you need the money, and you have a job, you work!


Posted Aug. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 18

RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

Work despite health risks is still a common practice today i.e. coal miners, oil field workers and people in laboratories all face danger on a daily basis. Survival is our most powerful instinct and sometimes forces us to do things that are not good for us. These women were no exception to this rule. I would probably fall into this same category.


Posted Aug. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 256

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RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

Most all of these women had to work to help support themselves and their families. They were in small towns where there were very few jobs available to them. If they quit it could devastating their survival. As a single mother of two children I had to take some jobs that were probably not the safest but I had to work.


Posted Aug. 21, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 323

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RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

These women were young and uneducated. They felt fortunate to have a job that paid more than The prevailing wage. I would definitely do what I had to do to support my family.


Posted Aug. 22, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
betht

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 13

RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

In the beginning, before the symptoms manifested, theirs was considered a prestigious job. They made several times the going rate at the time, the atmosphere was convivial, they were working with a "miracle product" that people were intrigued with - the Radium Girls were cool! They could support themselves, or help support extended families, in a time when women's work was often drudgery. Plus, they believed they were supporting the war effort, which added even more cachet to the profession. Until they all started dying.


Posted Aug. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 104

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RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

Look at all the people that work in the coal mines now. They have to know about all the dangers there but still do it. During the years the Radium girls were working it was much harder to find any work, let alone work with exceptionally good wages. This was a coveted job. I think if you had children that were depending on you to provide for them, you might risk taking the chance that you would not get sick.


Posted Aug. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mildas

Join Date: 05/11/16

Posts: 14

RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

Jobs were scarce for women and this paid well. After the crash, the women were lucky to have a job so they could help support their families. I think I would risk everything for my children.


Posted Sep. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianet

Join Date: 08/13/18

Posts: 6

RE: How did the economic times influence the women's decision to continue working despite health concerns? What would you be willing to risk in order to support your family?

With women so low in esteem, being able to financially taking the lead for the welfare of their families, this gave the women a sense of self that they never thought they would attain. I would do whatever I needed to do to ensure the well being of my family.


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