Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Radium City... and the brownfields among us

News of a lost piece of mining equipment with a radioactive core reminded me of this.  In case you missed this chapter on Pittsburgh history, this was once the Radium City. Actually, the moniker thrown around for Pittsburgh was Queen of the Radium world.

The center of radium refining was once the Vanadium building on Forbes Ave. in Oakland.  It was at one time the world's foremost refinery of radium. Remarkably the building was only decontaminated in 2003, roughly 80 years after the building was used for radium refining. Stranger still I can find no local news coverage of the final decontamination efforts. Strange in that it is not as if there was anything unknown about the dangers. I walk by the building every day. Few know the building's history.

Such a big deal it was that Marie Curie herself visited the building in Pittsburgh to inspect the radium refining operations there.  The bottom image is a certificate for some of the radium produced in Pittsburgh for her. But in true Pittsburgh uber connectedness, this all gets stranger.  The only legacy of the company that refined radium here, the Standard Chemical Company of Pittsburgh, is a plaque at Pitt's Allen hall commemorating Mme Curie's visit.  The plaque was unveiled in 1969 by a young archbishop visiting from Poland named Karol Józef Wojtyła .  Later Pope John Paul II. I am wondering if that was the primary reason for JPII's visit here and if it was his only visit ever to Pittsburgh.

Marie Curie visiting Pittsburgh

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one historical article to which you link demonstrates that this story has yet another connection to a Briem-obsession: public transit and interurban railways, in particular:

"The Canonsburg mill’s end product was a mixture of barium and radium salt that was transferred to the company’s laboratory in the Vanadium Building, Pittsburgh for refining. The salts were packaged in glass containers carried in covered bailed metal pails that were taken to Pittsburgh by messengers via the Pittsburgh Railways Company interurban cars that passed by the mill."

Wait. Messengers carried radium salts packed into glass bottles inside metal pails on trolleys from the Canonsburg mill to Oakland?! Holy time before OSHA and the EPA, Batman!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

me? I don't obsess.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger One J said...

insanity workout
kobe bryant shoes 2015
louis vuitton handbags
cheap ray bans
oakley sunglasses
kate spade outlet
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors outlet
celine outlet
concords 11
ray ban outlet
abercrombie
toms outlet
louis vuitton outlet
retro 11
burberry outlet
michael kors uk
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet online
louis vuitton
burberry sale
retro jordans 13
oakley vault
louis vuitton outlet
burberry outlet
ray ban glasses
true religion
fendi bags
20150602yuanyuan

Tuesday, June 02, 2015 2:21:00 AM  
Blogger chenlina said...

chenlina20150603
ray ban sunglasses
ray ban outlet
ray ban sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton
true religion
chanel handbags
ray ban glasses
ray ban glasses
michael kors
jordan concord 11s
chanel uk
louis vuitton handbags
celine handbags
ralph lauren outlet
gucci handbags
michael kors outlet
oakley sunglasses outlet
abercrombie store
retro 11
oakley sunglasses cheap
michael kors
kids lebron shoes
ray ban uk
chanel handbags
kevin durant basketball shoes
coach outlet
tory burch handbags
christian louboutin sale
oakley sunglasses
air max 95
jordan 11 columbia
kate spade purses
michael kors bag
coach outlet
tods outlet store
discount oakley sunglasses
coach outlet
hollister
chanel handbags

Wednesday, June 03, 2015 1:29:00 AM  
Blogger Lin Shijun said...

shijun 7.13
christian louboutin outlet
replica watches
true religion
tory burch outlet online
hollister kids
cheap ray bans
coach factory outlet
tod's outlet
nfl jerseys
longchamp outlet
abercrombie
coach bags
louis vuitton outlet
ralph lauren outlet online
christian louboutin
coach factory outlet
ghd flat iron
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet
louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton
louis vuitton handbags
abercrombie outlet
running warehouse
louis vuitton uk outlet
coach factorty outlet online
coach outlet
new jordans
michael kors outlet
true religion sale
chanel bags
michael kors
nike air max
chi hair strighteners
coach outlet store online
toms promo code
burberry bags
ray ban glasses
oakley sunglasses outlet
cheap ray ban sunglasses

Monday, July 13, 2015 2:39:00 AM  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160518
tory burch outlet online
michael kors outlet clearance
longchamp le pliage
christian louboutin shoes
juicy couture
gucci belts
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton bags
hollister jeans
replica watches
michael kors outlet online sale
louis vuitton outlet
replica rolex watches
concords 11
adidas superstar shoes
ray ban sunglasses
nike air max 90
tiffany and co
tory burch outlet
michael kors handbags
kate spade outlet
oakley sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
hollister kids
tods sale
timberlands
adidas wings
hollister clothing
pandora jewelry
ray ban outlet
ralph lauren home
ray ban wayfarer
coach outlet
air jordan shoes
louboutin shoes
ladies cartier watches
fitflop shoes
louis vuitton outlet
burberry outlet online
oakley vault

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 9:51:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home