WARNING: EXPLICIT MATERIAL

Amelia Maggia

AKA:
Radium Girl, Ghost Girls
Birth Name:
Amelia Maggia
Birth Date:
December 21, 1896
Birth Place:
386 Highland Ave, Orange, New Jersey
Death Date:
September 12, 1922
Place of Death:
Orange, New Jersey
Age:
25
Cause of Death:
Radium sarcoma, industrial poisoning
Cemetery Name:
Rosedale Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
The Odd and the Interesting
Amelia ‘Mollie’ Maggia was the middle child of seven Maggia sisters; listed in order of age: Louise, Clara, Albina, Mollie, Quinta, Irma and Josephine. Children of Italian immigrants, Albina, Mollie, Quinta and Irma all worked in the radium-dial factory. Mollie was an exceptional dial-painter – but paid the price. She was the first dial-painter to die in September 1922. The initial effects of radium seemed harmless, and the substance was popular amongst the younger girls in the factory. They would go home from a day of painting with their clothes glowing from the radium exposure. Some would even paint the buttons on their dresses or their nails, but the joy of the radium glow was short lived. Long-term radiation sickness symptoms soon became present among many of the women who worked with radium paint. Common issues included bone cancer, anemia, lesions, and sores. These problems were exhibited in Amelia Maggia, the first dial painter to die from radiation sickness. Amelia worked in the factory for almost a decade and was known to be a diligent employee. Amelia had initially gone to the doctor complaining of a toothache and got an extraction. However, the ache in her jaw continued. During a routine exam, when the doctor gently probed here jaw, her jawbone literally fell out of her mouth into his hands. Upon closer examination he found extensive deterioration of her lower jaw bone and tissue damage from the radiation. Most of her jaw was removed and she developed severe anemia and lesions with massive infections. Amelia passed away in September of 1922 at the age of 25 when the radiation caused a jugular vein to rupture and she bled to death in front of her family. Her death was wrongly attributed to syphilis.

Not-So-Fun Facts:

The Radium Girls ingested radioactive radium through the special paint formula they used to paint the dials on clocks, watches, aircraft instruments and other applications. By using a technique known as “lip – dip – paint” they would put the brush on their lips after each application to tighten the brush hairs, ingesting the paint hundreds of times a day for years.

Ironically, the inventor of radium dial paint, Dr Sabin Arnold von Sochocky, died in November 1928, becoming the 16th known victim of poisoning by radium dial paint. He had gotten sick from radium in his hands, not the jaw, but the circumstances of his death helped the Radium Girls in court.

The home where Mollie Maggia passed away is still standing and located at 386 Highland Ave, Orange, NJ 07050. The home is currently a multi family home that contains 2,446 square feet and was built in 1873.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Rosedale Cemetery

408 Orange Road

Montclair, New Jersey, 07042

USA

North America

Map:

Cemetery Map of Rosedale Cemetery in Montclair New Jersey

Grave Location:

Single Section 8, Row 6, Grave 71

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery take the first right and drive past the new office building and parking. Follow the white line to the left, then right and stop at the intersection just before you go over the bridge to the old section. On your right along the property line is a narrow section of graves that extends all the way to the maintenance shed. In the exact middle of this section where the road bends slightly into the section on the second row is the final resting place of Radium Girl Amelia “Mollie” Maggia. Her grave lines up with the street on the other side of the fence.

Grave Location GPS

40.78654692449, -74.2247069697292

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Quinta Maggia McDonald

popular name: Quinta Maggia McDonald

date_of_death: December 7, 1929

age: 29

cause_of_death: Radium sarcoma, industrial poisoning

claim_to_fame: The Odd and the Interesting

best_know_for: Quinta Maggia McDonald was the middle child of seven Maggia sisters; listed in order of age: Louise, Clara, Albina, Mollie, Quinta, Irma and Josephine. Children of Italian immigrants, Albina, Mollie, Quinta and Irma all worked in the radium-dial factory. Quinta was recruited to work at the United States Radium Corporation in Orange, New Jersey as a dial-painter. Like her sisters she would end up paying the price. The initial effects of radium seemed harmless, and the substance was popular amongst the younger girls in the factory. They would go home from a day of painting with their clothes glowing from the radium exposure. Some would even paint the buttons on their dresses or their nails, but the joy of the radium glow was short lived. Long-term radiation sickness symptoms soon became present among many of the women who worked with radium paint. Common issues included bone cancer, anemia, lesions, and sores. These problems were exhibited in Amelia Maggia, the first dial painter to die from radiation sickness. After Amelia's death, Quinta initially went to the doctor complaining of dental pain where her teeth began to just drop out of her mouth. Unlike her sister before her, she received a diagnoses of radium poisoning and was told there was no cure. Sometime later she noticed pain in her ankles, legs and hips and was put into plaster casts to keep her immobile in the chance this might bring some relieve. Upon her final hospitalization the doctors noticed a large sarcoma on her leg - the kind of bone tumor that killed a fellow Radium Girl a year before. She eventually lapsed into a coma and died at the age of 29 leaving behind two young children.

Elizabeth Glaser

popular name: Elizabeth Glaser

date_of_death: December 3, 1994

age: 47

cause_of_death: Complications from AIDS

claim_to_fame: The Odd and the Interesting

best_know_for: Elizabeth Glaser was an actress, educator, activist, author, and founder of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser. In fact, it was Elizabeth Glaser’s fight to save her HIV-positive children led to her creation of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation to save children worldwide from the devastation of AIDS. Shortly after her marriage to actor Paul Michael Glaser, while giving birth to Ariel, Elizabeth hemorrhaged and was transfused with seven pints of blood. It wasn't until four years later that Elizabeth found out that she had been infected with the AIDS virus through the blood transfusion, and passed it on through her breastmilk to Ariel, who later died at the age of seven years old. The couple also had a son, Jake, who was infected with the virus in utero. Upon the death of her daughter, Glaser raised awareness of pediatric AIDS and pushed to extend availability of the drug AZT to children. In 1988, Glaser founded the Pediatric AIDS Association. In 1992, she spoke at the Democratic National Convention, criticizing the government’s failure to address the AIDS crisis. Her 1991 book, In the Absence of Angels, was praised for its honest discussion of losing a child. Glaser lost her battle with AIDS in 1994.

Alfred Southwick

popular name: Alfred Southwick

date_of_death: June 11, 1898

age: 72

cause_of_death: Natural causes

claim_to_fame: The Odd and the Interesting

best_know_for: In 1881 Alfred Southwick heard a story about an intoxicated man who touched a live electric generator. Given that the man died so quickly, Southwick concluded that electricity could be used as an alternative to hanging for executions. And while his background included stints as a steam-boat engineer and dentist, Alfred was credited with inventing the electric chair as a method of legal execution. He also served as a professor at the University of Buffalo school of dental medicine, now known as the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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