‘Radium Girls’ tells the story of women who fought for safer working conditions in the 1920s

It’s a story that many New Jersey residents may not be familiar with – the story of young women in the 1920s who were sickened by factory conditions in the Garden State.

News 12 Staff

Oct 27, 2020, 12:04 AM

Updated 1,364 days ago

Share:

It’s a story that many New Jersey residents may not be familiar with – the story of young women in the 1920s who were sickened by factory conditions in the Garden State.
Their story is being told in a new film that will be shown in New Jersey theaters and on virtual platforms.
“Radium Girls” tells the true-life story of a group of women who worked in a clock factory in New Jersey painting glow-in-the-dark clock dials with radium paint. Some of the workers became sick and discovered that the paint was poisoning them.
Writer-director Ginny Mohler was working as a documentary researcher when she stumbled upon the story of the real-life radium girls who suffered catastrophic illness and death.
“I felt like it just grabbed on to me,” she says. “Workers, A) worked with radioactive paint and thought it was safe, and B) when they got sick and were pointed, the company denied having the science that showed it was dangerous.”
The “Radium Girls” plot revolves around two sisters working in the factory who rise up and sue the company.
“It felt incredibly cinematic to tell the story through the eyes of these two teenage girls,” says producer-director Lydia Dean Pilcher.
Pilcher says that she was drawn to the story of women fighting for justice.
“It was the Wild West of industrialization. It was a new pioneering era in our country’s history. There was no regulation,” Pilcher says. “When the Radium Girls came forward and actually said they were willing to stand up, there was a whole host of women ready to lift them up on their shoulders and that's an amazing part of the story."
The real women in the story won a settlement against United States Radium Corporation. The property of the former factory, located in Orange, became a Superfund site.
“Radium Girls” will screen at the Cranford Theater Drive-in on Tuesday. It will also be shown at the Basie Cinema in Red Bank starting on Thursday.


More from News 12
3:06
Prosecutor: Driver killed in tractor-trailer explosion on Route 3 in Clifton

Prosecutor: Driver killed in tractor-trailer explosion on Route 3 in Clifton

2:36
Cloudy and rainy start to the week; conditions clear by the weekend

Cloudy and rainy start to the week; conditions clear by the weekend

Police: Man faces charges for cutting head off seagull at the Jersey Shore

Police: Man faces charges for cutting head off seagull at the Jersey Shore

0:22
Wife of New York Yankees executive dies after being found unresponsive at home

Wife of New York Yankees executive dies after being found unresponsive at home

Senate Ethics Committee starts review of Sen. Bob Menendez's conduct following bribery conviction

Senate Ethics Committee starts review of Sen. Bob Menendez's conduct following bribery conviction

0:43
Officials: Firefighter injured battling house fire in Bayonne

Officials: Firefighter injured battling house fire in Bayonne

1:13
‘Palpable excitement.’ Rep. Sherrill expresses support for VP Harris’ presidential campaign

‘Palpable excitement.’ Rep. Sherrill expresses support for VP Harris’ presidential campaign

2:34
What are the next steps for Democrats as Biden drops out of 2024 presidential race?

What are the next steps for Democrats as Biden drops out of 2024 presidential race?

0:44
Repair Café holds repairing event at Jersey City church this past weekend

Repair Café holds repairing event at Jersey City church this past weekend

1:44
‘Too old.’ ‘A surprise.’ ‘It’s mature.’ New Jersey residents react to Biden’s decision to step down

‘Too old.’ ‘A surprise.’ ‘It’s mature.’ New Jersey residents react to Biden’s decision to step down

0:43
Officials: 1 woman hospitalized with burns; 2 displaced in Elizabeth fire

Officials: 1 woman hospitalized with burns; 2 displaced in Elizabeth fire

1:44
NJ Transit commuters experience another round of delays due to Amtrak overhead wire issue

NJ Transit commuters experience another round of delays due to Amtrak overhead wire issue

1:00
What happens to Biden's campaign funds?

What happens to Biden's campaign funds?

2:18
Do you know how accurate your credit report is? Kane in Your Corner shows you how to spot, fix mistakes

Do you know how accurate your credit report is? Kane in Your Corner shows you how to spot, fix mistakes

0:19
Parking garage fire causes Stop & Shop in Union to close

Parking garage fire causes Stop & Shop in Union to close

0:39
Olympics spotlight: New Jersey athletes competing at the Paris Olympic Games

Olympics spotlight: New Jersey athletes competing at the Paris Olympic Games

1:51
Made in New Jersey: The Healing Bras provides relief during painful moments

Made in New Jersey: The Healing Bras provides relief during painful moments

0:51
Secret Service director, grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, says: 'We failed'

Secret Service director, grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, says: 'We failed'

1:00
NJ Democratic lawmakers thank President Biden for his service in wake decision to step down

NJ Democratic lawmakers thank President Biden for his service in wake decision to step down

4:22
How VP Kamala Harris could get presidential nomination after the end of Biden's reelection bid

How VP Kamala Harris could get presidential nomination after the end of Biden's reelection bid