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U.S. Radium Corporation - East Orange, NJ - Records, Ca. 1917-1940

U.S. Radium Corporation
East Orange, NJ
Records, Ca. 1917-1940

October 2001; Revised, June 2003
MC/45
01-58


History

US Radium Girls - Argonnel

Click to see larger images.

"From 1917 to 1926, the U.S. Radium Corporation was located at the intersection of High and Alden Streets in Orange, New Jersey. Dr. Sabin Arnold von Sochocky and Dr. George S. Willis founded the company in 1917. The primary activity at the U.S. Radium Corporation was the extraction and purification of radium from carnotite ore to produce luminous paints, which were produced under the brand name Undark. The plant employed over a hundred workers, mainly women, to paint radium lighted watches and instruments.

During World War I, the U.S. Radium Corporation was a major supplier of luminous watches to the military. However, a major setback for the Corporation occurred when a number of dial painters died from what appeared to be a variety of unrelated health causes. It was later learned that the deaths were due to radiation contamination associated with exposure to radium, one of the prime ingredients of the luminescent paint. A major route of exposure was ingestion, as the dial painters used their mouths to form a point on the radium-tainted paintbrushes, enabling them to paint the small numbers on the watches."

(Source: Revised Work Plan, Volume 1 of 2, U.S. Radium Site, City of Orange, Essex County, New Jersey. Remedial Planning Activities at Selected Uncontrolled Hazardous Substance Disposal Sites USEPA Region II (NY, NJ, PR, VI). White Plains, NY: Malcom Pirnie, Inc., 1990, pp. 2-4 to 2-5.)

Harrison S. Martland, MD (1883-1954), chief medical examiner for Essex County, New Jersey, was instrumental in recognizing the cause of death in the dial painters. Dr. Martland measured the radioactivity in dial painters' bodies and in 1925, published the information connecting their bone disease and aplastic anemias with radium.

Scope and Content Note

The records of the U.S. Radium Corporation of East Orange, New Jersey consist of eighteen reels of 35mm microfilm, dating 1917 to the circa 1940s. The files contain correspondence, reports, published articles, certificates, insurance and legal files, and other records documenting the company's business activities and investigations into the contamination of its female radium dial painters by radioluminous paint. Of particular note, are legal files of the case, La Porte vs. US Radium (1934). The records are not in any discernible order. A duplicate set of microfilm is available for Interlibrary Loan requests.

In December 2002, a United States Air Force researcher contacted the Special Collections Department to request the loan of the microfilm for a research project he was conducting. The outcome of this request was an agreement made with Distor, Inc. to scan the microfilm to create pdf files of the textual images and a searchable database using LaserFiche® software. As part of the project, a Table of Contents to the pdf files was also created. It provides additional subject insight to the microfilm. This project was completed in spring 2003. The pdf files and proprietary software database may only be searched in-house in the department.

In addition to the microfilm, the collection consists of data abstracted from the microfilm by Dr. Claudia Clark.

For a related collection, see the Harrison S. Martland, MD Papers, 1905-1954 (MC/1).

Provenance

Claudia Clark, Ph.D. donated the collection to UMDNJ-Special Collection on 14 June 2001. The original microfilm was made at Argonne National Laboratory sometime between 1969 and 1981 from documents furnished Argonne for research purposes by U.S. Radium Corp. The records were contaminated by radium, and the originals were disposed of as contaminated waste.

Dr. Clark was furnished with a copy of the microfilm when she was supported by Argonne's Department of Educational Programs to work on Radium Dial Painter Study records as part of her Ph.D. thesis. This microfilm set was Dr. Clark's to keep. The original microfilm may still be at Argonne National Laboratory.

For additional information about the Radium Dial Painters, see Dr. Clark's book, Radium Girls: Women and Industrial Health Reform, 1910-1935 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1997).

Inventory

18 Reels 35mm microfilm (original duplicate).

18 Reels 35mm microfilm (ILL duplicate).

BoxFolderContents
11Claudia Clark's Research Data from Microfilm (notebook).
2Claudia Clark's Research Data from Microfilm.
3Claudia Clark's Research Data from Microfilm. Re: Chemists & Chemical Processes.
4Claudia Clark's Research Data from Microfilm. Re: U.S. Radium Corp. Physical Plant.

Table of Contents to Pdf Files on Special Collections Web Site

Summary Roll 1

  • Page 2          Begin roll #1
  • Page 3          Correspondence in Letters and Documents of the Radium Plant
  • Page 13         Early History-Lawsuits Letters and Summaries on Patients
  • Page 34         Certificates of Preparation Quantity of Radium Added to Mixtures
  • Page 60         Companies Radium Supplied over the Years
  • Page 70         Sales of IV Radium
  • Page 74         Certificates
  • Page 223        Companies Radium Supplied
  • Page 239        Radium Shipments-On How Much was Shipped
  • Page 245        Certificates
  • Page 251        Miscellaneous
  • Page 261        Certificates
  • Page 279        Miscellaneous
  • Page 288        Letters for Mr. H.H., Attorney
  • Page 293        Certificates
  • Page 358        Miscellaneous
  • Page 362        Certificates
  • Page 428        Report on 10 Patients (Published)
  • Page 502        Cases Filing a Suit
  • Page 512        Literature and Analysis on Radium
  • Page 573        End of Roll #1

Summary Roll 2

  • Page 5          Begin roll #2
  • Page 7          Spas & Pertinent Medical Articles and Books
  • Page 13         Bancroft Hall
  • Page 45         Radiosinter Part 21
  • Page 62         Radio Activity of the Mineral Waters of Hot Springs, VA
  • Page 79         Effects & Uses of the Radio Activity of Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
  • Page 85         Some Newer Developments In Endocrine Therapy
  • Page 109        Radium Insurance Correspondence
  • Page 118        The Radium Therapist - Articles and Books
  • Page 124        Insurance Correspondence
  • Page 129        Definite Replies
  • Page 152        Correspondence Internal Radium
  • Page 179        Reports Article One
  • Page 191        List of References
  • Page 212        X Rays of Barker's Teeth
  • Page 237        Oil Burners
  • Page 265        Bids and Supplies
  • Page 277        Zinc
  • Page 310        Dr. Hopkins
  • Page 339        Reports on Effects of Organs
  • Page 375        The Therapeutic Value-Books and Articles
  • Page 381        Bancroft Hall
  • Page 429        Radio Activity of the Mineral Waters of Hot Springs, Warm Springs, Healing Springs in Hot Springs, VA
  • Page 446        Effects & Uses on the Treatment of Diseases
  • Page 476        Early Literature
  • Page 500        Written Documentation on Patients
  • Page 520        Radium Institute of New York-Articles and Documentation
  • Page 539        Reports of Rutherford
  • Page 543        The Biokinetics of the Blood
  • Page 548        The Stability of Atoms
  • Page 584        The Disintegration of Elements by a Particle
  • Page 622        John Dale and Sons Book
  • Page 671        Perkin Medal Award
  • Page 691        The Relation Between the Alpha Ray ...
  • Page 760        On the Physical Principles of the Alpha Ray
  • Page 766        End of Roll #2

Summary Roll 3

  • Page 4          Begin Roll #3
  • Page 6          Letters and Articles of Radioactive Families
  • Page 32         Radio and Radio-Activity, Books and Articles
  • Page 60         Home Experiences on the Extraction of Radium
  • Page 86         Correspondence
  • Page 101        The Detection, Estimation and Elimination of Radium in Living Persons
  • Page 109        Parathormone in the Treatment of Radium Poisoning
  • Page 159        Results of Examination of the Organs
  • Page 285        Correspondence
  • Page 318        Partition Factor Br & Cl
  • Page 326        Co-Precipitation of Radium & Barium Sulfates
  • Page 334        The Concentration of Radium & Mesothorium by Fractional Crystallization
  • Page 342        Correspondence, Leman & Buckley
  • Page 362        I-B German Inquiries Msth. 1927
  • Page 378        Msth. I-C Program 1919 Dr. Sochocky
  • Page 395        Bisulphate Method for Radium Original Manuscripts
  • Page 412        Detection & Elimination of Radium in Living Persons Given Radium Chloride Internally II
  • Page 417        End of Roll #3

Summary Roll 4

  • Page 4          Begin Roll 4
  • Page 6          Copies of Original Information Elgin Hospital
  • Page 26         Patient Applications
  • Page 40         United States Patent Office
  • Page 59         Mesothorivn NBS Certificates and Equivalence of Msth.
  • Page 86         Schlundt, Barker Correspondence on Reclaiming of Radium & Msth. From Zinc Sulphide
  • Page 151        Correspondence
  • Page 196        Msth. Peceried 1917-1921 (McCoy- Sochocky)
  • Page 238        Thorium and Thorotrast
  • Page 245        Miscellaneous Luminous Paints
  • Page 258        End of Roll #4

Summary Roll 5

  • Page 3          Begin Roll #5
  • Page 5          Production Managers Report P.L.M.C.
  • Page 98         Mesothorium Program 1919
  • Page 118        Luminous Material Tests Indication of Rath 1924-1925 (Appendix Tables Individual Results)
  • Page 214        List of Early Cases, Early Bibliography of Uses of Radium
  • Page 246        Radon Water Apparatus
  • Page 291        Gamma Ray Measurements of Material of Low Activity
  • Page 297        GPO US Dept. Labor, "Radium Poisoning"
  • Page 337        Extra Reprints
  • Page 351        Medical Science Harnesses One of Natures Rarest Forces for Health
  • Page 371        Radium the Danger in Working with Radium and X-Rays
  • Page 381        Recent Fundamental Studies in the Internal Therapeutics of Radio-active Substances, Books
  • Page 416        Standard Chemical Company
  • Page 433        F.D. John's and Lazarus-Articles on Radium & Radiothorium
  • Page 459        Articles/ Pamphlets of Radioactive Waters (Health Related)
  • Page 508        Secret of the Ages Solved by Medical Science (Health Related)
  • Page 524        Radium Therapy Articles (Health Related)
  • Page 589        Better Health by Natural Means (Health Related)
  • Page 601        Radioactive Waters Past & Present
  • Page 655        Why is PyRadium so Effective
  • Page 669        Compendium of Abstracts of Papers on the Therapeutic Bases of Radium 1920
  • Page 738        End of Roll #5

Summary Roll 6

  • Page 5          Begin Roll #6
  • Page 7          W.H. Cameron "General Consideration in the Application & Radium" 1920, Glossary of terms in Radioactivity and Ra Therapy, 1920 C.H.Viol
  • Page 80         Glossary of Terms in Radioactivity & Radium therapy
  • Page 100        Luminosity Readings 1922, Reports and Measurements by V.F.Hess, 1920
  • Page 196        Luminosities Pending
  • Page 247        Luminosity and Recovery of V2O5 LDM
  • Page 318        Emanation Apparatus
  • Page 354        Curves Luminosity
  • Page 385        Electroscope Data, Mr. Marinelli
  • Page 413        Victor Hess Reprints Books, Articles and Brochures
  • Page 511        Neue Untersuchungen
  • Page 549        House Insulation
  • Page 588        Cancer in British Malaya & the Philippine Islands
  • Page 599        Isotopic Constitution of Lead Hyperfine Structure
  • Page 627        A New Method of Determining the Radium Content of Carnotite Ores & Other Products of Low Activity
  • Page 652        The Quantitative Estimation of Radium by the Emanation Method
  • Page 659        Luminescence Measurement
  • Page 699        Emanation Containers
  • Page 713        Electroscope Laboratories
  • Page 724        Material on Luminosity, etc.
  • Page 768        End of Roll #6

Summary Roll 7

  • Page 3          Begin Roll #7
  • Page 5          Luminous Material Consistent
  • Page 23         Correspondence
  • Page 45         Electrical Testing Laboratories
  • Page 61         Tantalum Information Circular
  • Page 81         Monazite Thorium and Cerium Information Circular
  • Page 104        Cobalt Information Circular
  • Page 122        Rare Metals
  • Page 144        Agglomeration and Leaching of Slimes & Other Finely Divided Ores
  • Page 177        Radium, Uranium and Vanadium
  • Page 195        Business Papers, Barker
  • Page 251        Non- Important Reprints
  • Page 290        Physical Reprints
  • Page 313        Physics- A Radioactive Quantity Requiring a Name
  • Page 321        X-Ray Work of the Bureau of Standards Protective Materials
  • Page 333        Luminescence Measurements
  • Page 353        Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity
  • Page 374        Non-Important Gold Alloys
  • Page 379        Electrical Testing Laboratories
  • Page 393        Miscellaneous
  • Page 440        Radioactivity
  • Page 449        Transactions with Dentist on Alloys for Fillings
  • Page 507        Technologic Papers of the Bureau of Standards
  • Page 546        Reports
  • Page 554        Methods for One Extraction
  • Page 570        Mines Branch Department of Mines
  • Page 587        Summary Report 1921 Part D
  • Page 657        Radium Discovery
  • Page 707        U.S.R. Plant Insurance
  • Page 742        End of Roll #7

Summary Roll 8

  • Page 3          Begin Roll #8
  • Page 5          Articles
  • Page 35         Personal File -Most Correspondence with President of Radium Corp.
  • Page 157        Pioneers What ACME Has to Offer Besides Apparatus
  • Page 229        Diagrams
  • Page 239        Classifications of Methods for Extraction of Radium from Uranium Ores
  • Page 337        Lab Analysis Data Sheets
  • Page 355        Articles
  • Page 385        Duplicate Personal File-Most Correspondence with President of Radium Corp.
  • Page 496        Greater Distance & Selectivity for Your Four Tube ACME Reflex
  • Page 518        Occurrence of Carnotite Ores
  • Page 579        Diagrams
  • Page 687        Lab Analysis Data Sheets
  • Page 700        End of Roll #8

Summary Roll 9

  • Page 4          Begin Roll #9
  • Page 6          Radium Orders
  • Page 223        Radium Inventors
  • Page 516        Radium Certificates
  • Page 435        Ray-Gentor Experiments
  • Page 546        Managers Reports
  • Page 609        Photos
  • Page 618        Miscellaneous
  • Page 622        Correspondence
  • Page 634        Ray-Gentor
  • Page 696        End Roll #9

Summary Roll 10

  • Page 1          Begin Roll #10
  • Page 2          Alcohol Receipts
  • Page 71         Miscellaneous Reprints Books, Articles and Brochures
  • Page 75         Photometers
  • Page 87         The Museum of Science and Its Relation to Industry
  • Page 96         Synchronized Reproduction of Sound and Scene
  • Page 121        1927 Coors U.S.A.
  • Page 133        Hellige Comparators
  • Page 160        The Biokinetics of the Blood
  • Page 225        Investigations of the Chemical Literature
  • Page 246        University of Colorado Bulletin
  • Page 275        The Rescue of Germany
  • Page 329        Relation of the Colloids of the Blood to Clinical Medicine
  • Page 411        Theradon
  • Page 431        Radium Applicators
  • Page 459        Radium for Therapeutic Purposes
  • Page 481        Electrometre
  • Page 659        Summary of Cases
  • Page 524        The Alchemistic Symbols
  • Page 536        Articles
  • Page 585        The Relation Between the Alpha Ray and Ranges of Radioactive Substances
  • Page 614        Photoflor
  • Page 687        End of Roll #10

Summary Roll 11

  • Page 5          Begin Roll #11
  • Page 7          Autopsy Report of Amelia Maggia 10-15-27
  • Page 41         Metz & Tuck vs U.S. Radium Corp. Radioactivity & Interviews
  • Page 76         Special Investigation of Elizabeth C. Lewis
  • Page 136        Preparation of Scientific Witnesses to N.J. Court Trials
  • Page 194        Information on Payroll and Paint Composition
  • Page 250        Inter Office Memos
  • Page 262        1930 Trial Jury and Plaintiffs List
  • Page 343        End of Roll #11

Summary Roll 12

  • Page 1          Begin Roll #12
  • Page 3          Articles
  • Page 12         Memos of Phone Conversations
  • Page 78         Material Concerning Defendant in La Porte Case (Description of Methods & Materials)
  • Page 67         Dictograph
  • Page 257        New Jersey Court of Errors & Appeals
  • Page 283        Brief of Defendant Respondent, New Amsterdam Casualty Co.
  • Page 310        New Jersey Court of Errors & Appeals
  • Page 550        End of Roll #12

Summary Roll 13

  • Page 2          Begin Roll 13
  • Page 3          New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals Book
  • Page 113        Plaintiffs Testimony
  • Page 371        Plaintiffs Exhibit No.14
  • Page 387        Plaintiffs Exhibit No.25
  • Page 469        Defendants Exhibit A-1
  • Page 536        End of Roll 13

Summary Roll 14

  • Page 2          Begin Roll #14
  • Page 3          US District Court of New Jersey Documents Feb. 4, 1930
  • Page 234        La Porte Vs US Radium Documents Nov.26, 1934 Vol. I
  • Page 434        La Porte Vs US Radium Nov.25, 1934 Vol. I
  • Page 439        End of Roll #14

Summary Roll 15

  • Page 2          Begin Roll #15
  • Page 4          US District Court Documents La Porte Vs US Radium Nov 26, 1934 Vol. I
  • Page 210        La Porte Vs US Radium Nov. 26,1934 Vol. II
  • Page 387        La Porte Vs US Radium Dec. 3,1934 Vol. II
  • Page 443        La Porte Vs US Radium Dec 5&6, 1934 Vol. III
  • Page 475        La Porte Vs US Radium Dec. 5&6, 1934 Vol. III
  • Page 627        End of Roll #15

Summary Roll 16

  • Page 3          Begin of Roll #16
  • Page 5          La Porte Vs US Radium Dec.10&11, 1934 Vol. IV
  • Page 153        La Porte Vs US Radium Dec 10&11, 1934 Vol. IV
  • Page 248        La Porte Vs US Radium Dec 18, 1934 Vol. V
  • Page 342        La Porte Vs US Radium Dec. 12&13,1934 Vol. V
  • Page 543        End of Roll #16

Summary Roll 17

  • Page 2          Begin Roll #17
  • Page 4           La Porte Vs US Radium Dec. 24, 1934 Vol. VII
  • Page 204        La Porte Vs US Radium Dec. 24, 1934 Vol. VII
  • Page 405        La Porte Vs US Radium Dec. 17, 1934 Vol. VI
  • Page 653        End Roll #17

Summary Roll 18

  • Page 2          Begin Roll #18
  • Page 4          La Porte Vs US Radium Dec. 17, 1934 Vol. VI
  • Page 254        Grace Fryer Stenographers Minutes 4-25,26-1928
  • Page 343        Grace Fryer Stenographers Minutes 4-26,27-1928
  • Page 459        End Roll #18

LRD-W;
10/18/01
Rev. 6/13/03

Page Revised: 10/22/03

For reference service and information contact:
Robert Vietrogoski
Special Collections
bob.vietrogoski@rutgers.edu
(973) 972-7830
FAX (973) 972-7474