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Donohue, Catherine Wolfe, -1938



  • Existence: -1938

Catherine Wolfe Donohue was a victim of radium poisoning which she contracted while employed at the Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, Illinois as a watch painter. She and other women who worked in the plant painting the luminous dials on watches brought a class action suit against the company. The Illinois Industrial Commission awarded them damages in 1938. It was one of the first cases in which the employer was made responsible for the health of a company's employees. The company's efforts to appeal the case through the Supreme Court system failed. The Donohue family created a scrapbook of newspaper articles and clippings describing the plight of the women and their efforts to get treatment and compensation. Most of the articles were published between 1936 and 1939, although a few appeared in 1946, 1954 and 1957. Catherine Wolfe Donohue died on July 27, 1938, soon after testifying before the Commission.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Catherine Wolfe Donohue Collection

Identifier: MS113
Abstract Catherine Wolfe Donohue, who contracted radium poisoning while an employee of the Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, Illinois, was part of the class action suit against the company. This collection consists of a scrapbook created by the Donohue family.
Dates: 1936 - 1957; Other: Majority of material found within 1936 - 1939