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Archive for April 10th, 2011

What happended to watches with the radium dial?

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I recently bought an inexpensive dress watch.  This mechanical analog watch (you know, with “hands” to tell time and a “mainspring” and an “escapement” along with gears and such) has no backlight or any illumination to see it in the dark.  What it does have is a paint on the hands that, when exposed to light, will glow for some period of time.

Call me old-fashioned, but what happened to those good old watches with the radium dial?  You didn’t need to “charge up” those watches by exposing them to light.  Those were “always on” radium dials.

A trip to the internet can take you back in time to find out what happened to those watches.  If you want one, vintage watches with the radium dial can still be had on eBay for about $300.

So as you are checking on these sites to read about radium dials and vintage watches check your grandfathers collection of old watches and check if there is one with a radium dial.  Could be worth $300 or more on eBay and a good story from your grandfather on when he bought that watch with the radium dial.

Read about the girls who painted the watch hands with radium
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium_Girls

Radium Girls: Women and Industrial health reform, 1910-1935
http://www.amazon.com/Radium-Girls-Industrial-Health-1910-1935/dp/0807846406

TIMEX – “Takes a lick’in and keeps on tick’in “– at least on the Geiger counter.  Check out this video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8kD7XdsIws

Alan’s vintage watch page
http://alanwatch.homestead.com/page9.html

The history of timekeeping
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_timekeeping_devices

Check out some high-end luxury watches (warning: large document)
http://www.iwmagazine.com/uploads/pdfs/iW%20Ap%202004%20Archive%20Web.pdf

Written by frrl

April 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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