Silk Screen for Clock Face - Ottawa Illinois
|This silk screen for painting clock faces was obtained during the cleanup of the Luminous Processes facility in Ottawa Illinois. It was used to paint the non-radioactive portion of the clock face - there are no traces of any radioactive contamination. The name "Westclox" appears in small lettering in the center of the clock face. Beneath the clock face there are two horizontal banners/ribbons that read "Union and Liberty." It is approximately 17" x 24" in size.|
In 1918 the Radium Dial Company (a Division of the Standard Chemical
Company) began producing radioluminescent dials in Chicago. Most of their
work was done for Westclox, so when Westclox asked Radium Dial to move to
Peru Illinois where the Westclox clock factory was located, Radium Dial
complied (ca. 1920). In a few years, Radium Dial moved to nearby Ottawa
Illinois because Westclox complained that Radium Dial was stealing its
workers with its higher wages. In the mid 1920s, the Ottawa facility
was the largest dial painting facility in the US and was producing
approximately one million dials per year.
In 1934, the Radium Dial Company's President, Joseph Kelly Sr., left to startup a competing company, Luminous Processes Inc. Luminous Processes was located only a few blocks from Radium Dial. In 1936, the Radium Dial Company went out of business - its buildings were demolished in 1968. Luminous Processes Inc. continued operations until 1978 - its buildings were demolished between 1984 and 1986.
Ross Mullner. Deadly Glow. The Radium Dial Worker Tragedy. American Public Health Association. 1999.
Copyright 1999, Oak Ridge Associated Universities