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.

Joan Merriam Smith

popular name: Joan Merriam Smith

date_of_death: February 17, 1965

age: 28

cause_of_death: Plane crash

claim_to_fame: The Odd and the Interesting

best_know_for: Joan Merriam Smith was an American aviator, famous for her 1964 solo flight around the world in which she became the second woman to complete the trip, by following the equatorial route attempted in 1937 by Amelia Earhart. (Jerrie Mock set off the same week on a different route, and finished before Smith did.) In doing so she also became the first woman to fly a twin-engine aircraft around the world, and the first woman to fly the Pacific Ocean from west to east in a twin-engine plane. Following the equatorial Amelia Earhart route, Joan became the first person in history to successfully complete a solo flight around the world at the equator, as well as the first person to complete the Amelia Earhart route. Smith also was the the first person in history to fly solo around the world at the equator, to complete the longest single solo flight around the world, first woman to fly a twin-engine aircraft around the world, the first woman to fly the Pacific Ocean from west to east in a twin-engine plane, the first woman to receive an airline transport rating at the age of 23, the youngest woman to complete a solo flight around the world, and the first woman to fly solo from Africa to Australia, from Australia to Guam via New Guinea, and from Wake to Midway Island. Sadly she died the following year when the plane she was piloting suffered structural failure and crashed in California.

Barney Hill

popular name: Barney Hill

date_of_death: February 25, 1969

age: 46

cause_of_death: Brain hemorrhage

claim_to_fame: The Odd and the Interesting

best_know_for: Betty and Barney Hill lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire where Betty was a social worker and Barney was a postal worker. The couple were catapulted into the international spotlight when in September 1961 they claimed to have been abducted by aliens in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The two were returning home to Portsmouth from a trip to Montreal, Canada, when as they were driving in the middle of the night, they saw lights approaching from the sky. What followed is said to be the first well-documented, "feasibly legitimate" UFO abduction in history. The couple claimed that they saw bipedal humanoid creatures in the window of a large spacecraft that landed in a field. They claimed they were followed by a spaceship and eventually accosted, kidnapped, examined, and then released by its extraterrestrial crew. The event has since become the best documented and most famous case of alien abduction in the history of UFO-ology. The story of the Hills grew big enough to prompt a best-selling book by John Fuller entitled "The Interrupted Journey", inspire a television movie called "The UFO Incident" starring James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons. Over time their story was subjected to a brutal debunking by multiple people including the famous intellectual Carl Sagan.

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