The ‘Radium Girls’ literally glowed from their work—and then it started killing them

Women painting alarm clock faces with radium in 1932, Ingersoll factory, January 1932. Workers would often lick the paintbrush to achieve a finer point — directly ingesting the radium. (Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images)

At factories like the Radium Luminous Materials Corporation on Third Street in Newark, young women like 14-year-old Katherine Schaub passed their days with tiny paintbrushes in their mouths. Beside each girl sat a small dish of radium powder, which she mixed with a few drops of water and adhesive. The combination made a luminescent…

Source: The ‘Radium Girls’ literally glowed from their work—and then it started killing them

The only woman to win the medal of honor fought for her role in the Civil War

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker in 1911. (Bain News Service/Library of Congress)

Mary Edwards Walker was no stranger to sneaking across enemy lines. When she wasn’t acting as a surgeon to tend to the Union wounded, she would sometimes enter Confederate territory — with armed escort and two pistols in her saddlebags — to deliver supplies to their hungry and deprived citizens. But one day, General William Tecumseh Sherman asked her to embark on …

Source: The only woman to win the medal of honor fought for her role in the Civil War

Hidden Women Update: WWI Camouflage in Action | The Unwritten Record

You may remember our July 2016 post about the Women’s Reserve Camouflage Corps, made up of women artists who developed camouflage for use by American troops in Europe during World War I. The websit…

Source: Hidden Women Update: WWI Camouflage in Action | The Unwritten Record

Trailblazing 18th-Century Mathematician Émilie du Châtelet, Who Popularized Newton, on Gender in Science and the Nature of Genius – Brain Pickings

Émilie du Châtelet (Portrait by Maurice Quentin de La Tour)

A century before Ada Lovelace became the world’s first computer programmer, a century before the word “scientist” was coined for the Scottish polymath Mary Somerville, another woman of towering genius and determination subverted the limiting opportunities her era afforded her and transcended what…

Source: Trailblazing 18th-Century Mathematician Émilie du Châtelet, Who Popularized Newton, on Gender in Science and the Nature of Genius – Brain Pickings

Women’s rights and rape; a breakthrough in 1811 and a lesson for 2016? – About1816

Two hundred years ago, rape was a capital crime and dealt with very severely. However, convictions were rare because of the nature of the questions that the women could be asked and the likelihood,…

Source: Women’s rights and rape; a breakthrough in 1811 and a lesson for 2016? – About1816

How Female Computers Mapped the Universe and Brought America to the Moon | Atlas Obscura

The group of women computers at the Harvard College Observatory, who worked for the astronomer Edward Charles Pickering, c. 1890. (Photo: Harvard College Observatory/Public Domain)

Teams of female scientists made critical breakthroughs in astronomy and mathematics–but it was decades before they’d get credit for them.

At Harvard Observatory in the late 1800s, the hum of over a dozen computers buzzed from the busy astronomy calculation room. Devising complex calculations to map the stars, the computers worked in skirts and corsets, gripping their pencils at thick wooden desks. If you haven’t guessed, these computers were not the sort we think of today, but were…

Source: How Female Computers Mapped the Universe and Brought America to the Moon | Atlas Obscura

Women’s Peace Crusades 1916-18 | GM 1914

This blog was written by Dr Alison Ronan of MMU about an exciting project that will be taking place in the near future researching the Women’s Peace Crusades.

The Women’s Peace Crusade 1916-1918 spread like wildfire across the country.

So why haven’t we heard of this series of spontaneous demonstrations? Thousands of women went on to the streets to protest about the war and the need for a peace to be negotiated. They carried banners, wore armbands and sung! The Crusades were co-ordinated by women from the Independent Labour Party and the Women’s International League across the country after the Somme and the first Russian revolution. There were over a hundred crusades across Britain and there was a dedicated column in the Labour Leader after May 1917 which was edited by socialist Ethel Snowden and gave news of the Crusade to its readers.

We want to look at local Crusades in the North West in more depth – Manchester, Oldham, Bolton, Burnley, Accrington, Nelson and Blackburn.

Were they reported in local papers?

Are there any surviving…

Source: Women’s Peace Crusades 1916-18 | GM 1914

The New York Women Who Dismantled Prohibition | MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Women have been considered some of the most visible advocates of the temperance movement—the movement beginning in the nineteenth century to voluntarily abstain from drinking alcohol. Less known is that women were also some of the most active opponents of the 18th amendment, which outlawed the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol and ushered in the era known as “Prohibition” from 1919 to 1933. The Museum’s recently digitized collection of materials from the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform, many of which are on view in…

Source: The New York Women Who Dismantled Prohibition | MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Women of the ’45 | Culloden Battlefield

Originally posted on Culloden Battlefield.

Portrait of Anne MacKintosh

Most of what you read and hear of the ’45 Rising was about the men of the time so here we’ve decided to do a quick tribute to the some of the women who played an important role in the Jacobite Uprising.

Today, we focus on two Annes; Anne MacKintosh and Anne Mackay.

Anne MacKintosh was the wife of the Clan Chief of Clan Chattan who fought on the government side. However, Lady Anne was an ardent Jacobite. When Prince Charles landed in Scotland at the age of 22, Anne took a pistol and money to threaten and bribe the men of Clan Chattan to join her and fight for the Prince whilst her husband was away. In total she managed to raise some 300 men who affectionately christened her Colonel Anne.

As Prince Charles retreated back up towards Inverness in early 1746 Lady Anne put him and some of his men up at her home of Moy Hall. Unfortunately, Lord Loudon of the government army heard of this and sent 1,500 of his men to attack…

via Women of the ’45 | Culloden Battlefield.

Careful with that axe Eugenia


I recommend this blog from Strange Company about… well, as (s)he says:

“For me, one of the innumerable joys of the “Illustrated Police News” is that while they did report on a lot of women who were victims of the domestic abuse, robberies, natural disasters and ‘orrible murders that were a staple of this august publication, they balanced this by depicting a remarkable number of kick-ass females who fought their own battles, took no prisoners, and generally raised hell.”

There are copious pics such as this onewimmin

The link is here:-

I should know how to link this properly rather than this spit and gaffer tape  version, but go there anyway.

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Revisited Myth # 34: Colonial women were put in the pillory for the crime of showing their ankles.

History Myths Debunked

Punishment:  Karen Clancey Steve Hollaway 2001 CWJ. Photo By David M Doody

While there have been many instances throughout history when women didn’t bare their ankles, the colonial era was not one of them. “Skirt length,” says Linda Baumgarten, curator of textiles at Colonial Williamsburg, “was a matter of both fashion and occasion. Formal clothing usually has longer skirts. Work clothing was nearly always shorter for practical reasons.” For example, polonaise style gowns in the 1770s and early 1780s are shorter and reveal plenty of ankle. And during the work day, a woman might hike up her skirt and tuck the hem into her waist to get it out of the way. No one went to the pillory for showing her ankles.

P.S. I loved this picture so much, we used it on the back cover of DEATH BY PETTICOAT.

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When Housewives Were Seduced by Seaweed | Collectors Weekly

Originally posted on Collectors Weekly.

Among quaint fads of the 19th century, like riding bicycles or playing board games, one sticks out like a sore thumb—the Victorian-era obsession with seaweed. That’s right: Affluent Victorians often spent hours painstakingly collecting, drying, and mounting these underwater plants into decorative scrapbooks. Why seaweed?

In Western Europe and the Americas, the 18th and 19th centuries were a time of major cultural upheaval, as industrialization reshaped nearly every aspect of daily life. New national holidays and improved labor laws gave working people more time off, which they could spend at home or enjoy by the seashore, often a quick train ride away. At the same time, influential naturalists like John James Audubon and Charles Darwin helped develop a popular interest in science and nature. Birdwatching boomed; taxidermied creatures filled middle-class homes; fur and feathers dominated fashion trends.

The shift to wage labor also helped spread the concept of leisure time, when people could explore their personal interests and hobbies. As the Victorian parlor or “withdrawing room” became the locus of private life, the chaotic outside world was ordered and beautified through home furnishings and decorative collections. Finally, improvements in printing technology created an explosion of paper ephemera, like the die-cut imagery explicitly designed for album-making. A generation of scrapbookers…

Continue reading: When Housewives Were Seduced by Seaweed | Collectors Weekly.