WARNING: EXPLICIT MATERIAL

Quinta Maggia McDonald

AKA:
Radium Girls, Ghost Girls
Birth Name:
Quinta Maggia
Birth Date:
February 14, 1900
Birth Place:
Orange, New Jersey
Death Date:
December 7, 1929
Place of Death:
Memorial Hospital, Manhattan, New York
Age:
29
Cause of Death:
Radium sarcoma, industrial poisoning
Cemetery Name:
Rosedale Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
The Odd and the Interesting
Associates:
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.

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.

Quinta’s final gift to her friends, family and doctor – she allowed a full autopsy after her death.

The home where Quinta lived during her illness 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 Rosedale Cemetery in Montclair New Jersey

Grave Location:

Single Section 9, Row 7, Grave 7

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery stay to the left and drive past the new office and parking lot. Continue to follow the white line in the road towards the left until you cross over a short bridge to the old section. Take the first left and drive straight ahead and park when the road makes a sharp right. On your left is Section 9. Walk to the very corner of the property at Hayward Street and Thomas Blvd. Now walking along the fence line bordering Thomas Blvd count 7 rows and 7 graves in and you will find the final resting place of Radium Girl Quinta Maggia McDonald on a slightly raised concrete slab.

Grave Location GPS

40.78552508, -74.22057939

Photos:

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Amelia Maggia

popular name: Amelia Maggia

date_of_death: September 12, 1922

age: 25

cause_of_death: Radium sarcoma, industrial poisoning

claim_to_fame: The Odd and the Interesting

best_know_for: 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.

Chang and Eng Bunker

popular name: Chang and Eng Bunker

date_of_death: January 17, 1874

age: 62

cause_of_death: Chang: cerebral blood clot/Eng: unknown

claim_to_fame: The Odd and the Interesting

best_know_for: Chang Bunker and Eng Bunker were Siamese-American conjoined twin brothers whose fame led to the term "Siamese twins" to become synonymous for conjoined twins in general. They were first pair of conjoined twins whose condition was well documented in medical records. Eng and Chang Bunker were connected at the chest by a five-inch-wide band of flesh, and performed as curiosities world-wide. After retiring from performing, they settled in Mount Airy, North Carolina, bought a farm, and took up farming. They became naturalized citizens, adopting the surname Bunker, and in April 1843 they married a pair of sisters, Adelaide and Sarah Yates. Chang Bunker died on January 17, 1874, from a cerebral blood clot and his brother Eng Bunker died three hours later.

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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