Radium Girls: Irene/Wiley/Mrs. Michaels/Widow
Terms in this set (91)
Irene? What are you doing?
Shut the door.
Is that bad?
Not for us.
By herself, in the dark, checkin dials.
So were going to give her a little surprise.
Let her get mad.
Thats half the fun.
I dont want to make her mad.
Oh Grace! Do you have to be that way about everything?
Put some on your teeth
Ain't like Amelia doesn't deserve it. She paints more dials than any girl on the floor. And can't be bothered to talk to nobody either. You say "Amelia! Whats new?" She just looks at you funny.
I dont think she can speak much English.
It wouldnt kill her to smile, would it?
Get the light!
Have ya gone off yer minds?
It was just a joke.
You know how Amelia loved orchids.
They weren't orchids.
They were orchids, Irene.
I was gonna say, it was like heaven.
Like heaven? Kathryn: It was just a funeral. Ya make it out like it was some Valentino picture.
The company send a big spray of flowers, too. Carnations.
Those were mums.
Well, you'll do your best, then. Since I have my instructions.
I need a new brush.
I have my instructions, girls, I have my instructions.
Here's an instruction for you, MacNeil: Let some of the starch outta yer corset.
Was she at the service?
MacNeil? Are you kidding? Y'think she'd cross the street for her own mother?
Well if it was me, I'da tried to get there.
Just lay off. Grace feels bad as it is.
Dr. Von Sochocky was there. And Mr. Roeder.
And he left early.
I think it is George.
It's Jerry. Jerry Mallon. He's the one who was always talkin to Amelia in the day room.
Oh for pity's sakes.
Well, he did. Nobody could believe it.
So what if he did.
I never saw a man cry before and not like that--just bawlin' like a baby.
And y'know why, too.
Cause their daughter had died.
What she died from.
Irene. Don't go spreadin stories.
It's not a story. Albina told us. No reason Grace shouldn't know.
Ain't none of em ever going to a dance again.
All because Amelia upped and died from syphilis.
I can't help it if that's what she died from!
It's on the death certificate.
Anemia and complications from syphilis!
But Amelia was ever so nice.
Guess she got around more than we knew.
Maybe the doctor got it wrong.
Doctor was wrong about Aunt Ivy.
What's Mama got to do with it?
Let us wish Mr. Roeder the very best in the new direction he intends the company to take.
Irene? Honey, you all right?
Huh? Yeah, sure. Why wouldn't I be all right? What?
Mrs. Jeremy Michaels of the Bronx tells how radium water transformed her life!
My pain got so bad I couldn't hardly bend over!
This poor, brave woman could not even bend down to kiss her little ones good night.
And I got three! Lt me tell you! They are a handful.
Then Mrs. Michaels tried Radithor!
They said it would help my rheumatism, so I drank a bottle a day for a month. Wasn't cheap--but I was desperate.
The test sample is questionably small.
Well, first off, I felt like I been hit by a bolt of lightning, it was that powerful. Now I drink a bottle a week, just to maintain my health. I hang laundry and scrub the kitchen floor same way I always done.
At a dollar a bottle?
Worth every penny!
Act I. Scene 11.
...And so I leave you now with this one thought. Ladies and gentlemen: We do not have to accept injustice. We can use our powers as consumers to influence the practices of those who would wish to profit from our patronage. Thank you.
I'm not leavin till I see Miss Wiley!
It's all right, Mrs. Middleton. It's fine. You must be Miss Fryer.
I know I shoulda stopped by yer office, but I missed a lot of work lately and didn't want to miss no more.
No need to apologize. I had been meaning to call on you myself. Please. Sit down.
Something about the law won't allow it.
The statute of limitations.
I'm sorry to rattle on at ya about these things...I'm just so tire of bein pushed around.
I don't blame you.
The Consumer's League has--what did she say? Clout?
I'd like to think so. We've certainly had our share of successes.
Can ya help us then?
Tell me, Miss Fryer, just how far are you willing to go with this?
Suppose I do find a lawyer to take your case. Someone willing to take it on a contingency--you wouldn't have to pay him unless you won. Would you be willing to sue?
I want my compensation.
Of course you do. Now suppose the company says, "Here. Here's some money for you, Miss Fryer. Only--you are to tell no one what we've agreed to. You are to say nothing about how you got sick."
Keep it quiet, you mean?
That don't seem right.
It isn't right. But that's what they'll do. They will try to buy your silence. Is it for sale, Miss Fryer?
No. No, ma'am, it isn't.
So you will help us?
I think I can help you. If you're willing to take some chances.
Miss Fryer. If you would be willing to set aside your own need--just for the moment, we can put a stop to that company. We can stop them dead in their tracks.
What do I have to do?
We start by putting you on page one.
Page one? You want her to talk to the newspaper?
Not just one newspaper. Many, many newspapers.
Tommy. Let her finish.
I understand your concerns. But this company has already shown it's willing to go to extremes to protect itself. No, I'm afraid the only way we'll get to them is to hit them where it matters most. Their public image. When every newspaper in America tells your story. How you were sorely treated. How you suffered. How the company denied all responsibility! Believe me, Miss Fryer, when that happens, Arthur Roeder will come to the table with his hat in his hands.
All right, Miss Wiley.
I know it's a little frightening.
Right now, I'm more angry than I am scared.
Good. You hang on to that anger, Miss Fryer. You're going to need it. Only--be sure no one else sees it.
Public sympathy, Miss Fryer. That's our strongest weapon. And the public doesn't have much sympathy for an angry woman.
Fifteen hundred dollars?
That's not even a year's wages!
You've a long way to go before you convince the judge.
And in the meantime, Mr. Markley--the press will continue to take a great interest in this story, and in the company's complete indifference to its workers.
More good press for the Consumers League! And you accuse us of exploiting these girls.
You're the one hiding behind the statute of limitations.
Hiding Miss Wiley?
You know very well the law never anticipated a situation like this. These girls were dying years before anyone knew the cause.
You will have made our defense. See you at the hearing.
The arrogance of that man!
Tell me again the purpose of these articles, Miss Wiley?
Public sympathy, Mr. Berry. That's the engine of reform.
You are antagonizing the company.
Then the strategy is working.
How does it help them, to read in a dozen different newspapers that they have so little time to live?
Mr. Berry. Surely you can see: The company cares nothing about the girls it poisoned-but the average housewife cares very much. These women shop. They buy watches. Markley can be as smug as he likes, but the Consumers League campaign is working. And he knows it. That is why he was here today.
I only hope you're right, Miss Wiley.
Public sympathy Mr. Berry. Wait and see.
...VENECINE in exchange for the exclusive rights to use your pictures in our advertisements.
Dear Miss Schaub. I read of your sad story in the Boston Globe and am so sorry for your plight. It seems in this time of rapid advancement the well-being of the average worker is overlooked. I would like to share with you girls the key to my own good health at the age of ninety-two! It is called Christian Science.
Three months! Three months to study an x-ray. It's outrageous!
That's the best I can do. "Get some rest."
You're doing wonderfully, Mr. Berry. It's a difficult case--
With those poor girls sitting right there!
Maybe this will help to explain. I recieved the letter.
What he can get away with. It's cold. Very cold.
It's from Kathryn Drinker. Mrs. Cecil Drinker? Of Harvard? She's an industrial hygienist also. She worked with Dr. Drinker on his study of the radium plant. It was a joint effort, actually.
There's nothing in it to help us.
You've only seen part of it. This is the complete report. I recieved it this morning. Mrs. Drinker has been following our story very closely in the papers. And she was particularly disturbed to read that last article in the Ledger, the one where Mr. Lee says her study "clears" the company.
He doctored the report. Roeder doctored the report.
Apparently he pulled out on page listing the blood conditions of a dozen employees and passed it off as the whole thing. Doesn't look so bad by itself, does it? But in context...it's a somewhat...different picture.
We can use this.
Yes. That should impress the judge.
New Evidence Shows Company Lied.
Dr. Joseph Knef, a Newark dentist who treated Amelia, has turned over portions of the jawbone that he removed from her mouth. This x-ray film shows the jawbone is still radioactive five years after the girl died.
Will this force a settlement?
Make our case? No--this gentleman will make our case.
And who isn't?
Get up, Grace!
We al have to make sacrifices sometimes.
I know I did.
Katrhyn! Don't do that! Kathryn?
Oh now look what you did, Grace! She's bleeding all over the dials.
They all look like death, Arthur.
He just looks right past me--like I'm not even here.
It doesn't matter, Grace. He heard you.
And that's CB Lee--president.
Katherine Wiley of the New Jersey Consumer's League! Our press statement!
Were you pleased with the outcome, Miss Wiley?
Finally these poor girls received some compensation for their suffering. But more importantly the issue of radium poisoning has been brought to public awareness.
Thanks, Miss Wiley.
The spelling by the way is Wiley with one "l" and Katherin with a "K."
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