Welcome back to our regular feature, the Watch Video Rewind. In this series, we bring to light videos we feel are interesting and worth sharing out with our readers. Today, we have one single video: a documentary about the “Radium Girls”.
Now, if you’ve been around watches for any amount of time, you will have heard of the Radium Girls. They were the women who painted the dials of clocks and watches with radium paint, often getting a fine tip on their paintbrushes by using their mouths.
Of course, today, we realize that that is a really bad idea, but that’s the nature of hindsight. While this is a sad chapter in our horological world, it’s something we need to be aware of, especially with how lume-crazy we tend to be with our modern watches.
Frankly, it’s worth being aware of in general for informing how we got to the levels of safety and worker protection we have these days, and understanding the uphill fight these women had getting the companies to take care of them after the health implications could no longer be denied.
You can read some more about the topic in our prior writeup, as well as in this excellent overview over at Quill & Pad. You can also check out this documentary from 1987 entitled ‘Radium City’, clocking in at 105 minutes.
Image credit to Quill & Pad