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Radium Watch Hand

Radium Watch Hand

6 total reviews

Item #173

This wristwatch hand is an artifact of the historic Radium Girls of the 1920s–30s. 

The Radium Girls were women hired by watch companies to paint dials with a radium-based glowing paint. This  was to provide glow in the dark functionality, but the workers became ill from radiation exposure and some even died because of it.

Management at these companies knew the dangers involved and even avoided radium exposure to themselves; however, this information was withheld from the dial painters who were required to use their mouths to bring the paintbrush to a fine point for the tiny parts.

Although it was a preventable tragedy, the Radium Girls’ saga led to significant improvements in labor rights and also helped establish legal precedents and labor safety standards in the US which has undoubtably saved many lives.

Radiation measurements from dial painters’ bodies were even used to establish the tolerance level for radium and provided scientific observations throughout their lives. We now have a thorough documentation of the long-term effects of exposure to various radium isotopes for medical reference.


This listing is for one radium watch hand in a gem jar.

    Regular price $22.00
    Regular price Sale price $22.00
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    Customer Reviews

    Based on 6 reviews

    Historic. It glows under UV light and emits small amounts of Radiation.

    J.T. (California, United States)
    Radium watch hand

    Excellent addition to my element collection. It's hot to the Geiger counter and fluoresces under UV like nothing else. Packed safely and quick delivery. Thanks!

    M.B. (New Jersey, United States)
    5 star!

    The products came well packaged, quickly and as described. Will be ordering again!!

    Wonderful teaching item!

    I teach radium girls, and I’m super excited to show this to my class!

    M.V. (California, United States)
    Cool little piece of history

    It arrived secured in a little container so I can have it on my bookshelf without worrying about it getting lost. It’s amazing to have this little piece of history.

    So cool

    A little piece of radioactive history. Great artifact for a collection.


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