Mad Hatters, Radium Girls and the Asbestos Hotel

October 21, 2018, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

As an industrial state, NJ is no stranger to industrial toxins. In recent decades, we have been home to over 140 Superfund cleanup sites administered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Historically, three NJ industrial toxins-–-mercury, radium, and asbestos-–-have their own harrowing stories to tell. At 2:00 p.m. retired internist Dr. Sandra Moss will describe how the hatting industry in Essex County, including South Orange and Orange in the late 19thc century, exposed workers to toxic mercury fumes, causing mental and physical disabilities, dozens of radium dial painters at a factory in Orange–-all young women---suffered and died from radiation in the interwar years, and at mid-century, workers at Manville, the “asbestos city,” fell ill with damaged lungs, as did workers who installed the insulation products produced at the Manville plant. Audience input and observations are welcome.

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Farming and Industry Local History

Next Event

November 11, 2018, 1:00 PM

Maplewood Remembers World War I

Durand-Hedden will observe the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice of World War I with an expanded exhibit on the newly rediscovered stories of the eight young men who lost their lives and for whom there is a memorial in Memorial Park, the efforts at the home front, and how the use of propaganda, including posters by nationally known artists, promoted patriotism. Reenactors will provide opportunities to learn about the lives of soldiers in the Great War, hear music of the period played by an authentically attired drum and bugle corps, and be persuaded by actress Theda Bara to buy war bonds.


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