A highlight from BOX324: Copper Pans And Petticoats


And had the box of oddities dot com. Thanks we appreciate that and It's it was a really pleasant surprise when we found out last week that that we'd been nominated I really don't understand that. Yeah i actually. I don't understand how the whole process works. I guess there's judges who vote. There's also you've who vote and that's yeah to awards. For each category one is the the academy votes and then the other is kadam yes the academy of digital arts and sciences and then the other one is your vote listener the listeners choice award so you can take a moment and do that. We'd appreciate it. We're just a small little show and we are competing against some like iheart radio and stuff like that so yes we need your help. We need your help all right. I got a story for you. If you're ready my love ready cornelia. She was just sixteen years old and living in new york city when she woke up one morning in eighteen. Fifty five with a toothache now. The toothache had been bothering her for off and on for a few days it was on right side of her lower jaw and she decided that she should probably go and have somebody look at it. What year was this eighteen fifty-five now yes you know this isn't gonna end well so that morning. She went to see a doctor at bellevue hospital. She was concerned about missing work because she had a job that she felt was a really good job. And in those days you couldn't miss work without paying a huge price possibly getting fired so she was in a hurry to get back to her job at a factory. Unfortunately it took a while for the doctor to see her. And when he did he found that the gums around her tooth obsessed. Yeah okay so. This is going to be a little more complicated. I'm a little more complicated process than she had anticipated. Sure the doctor had to pull the tooth and then he lanced her gums And center back to work at the factory o. K. understandably cornelia didn't feel very well and after a few days reluctantly returned to visit the doctor at bellevue. She was in much worse condition. A hole had formed in her jaw had been removed and the gums that had been lanced. Were now infected. And we're discharging pus. On now the doctor made the decision to undertake a final painful surgery in removed. Cornelius entire lower jaw. Cornelia suffered from what came to be known as fosse jaw and it became a bit of epidemic at the turn of the twentieth century. She was one in hundreds of young women who suffered with this condition at the time. Fossey fossey jaw is what it was called. Cornelia worked up to eight hours a day in a match factory and that is what all the women who suffered with. This condition had in common and match factory. Yes they were were referred to as the time at the time as a matchstick girls and match. Girls were employed to dip wooden sticks into white. Sox phosphorus create. What was at the time relatively new technology. A match could be struck on any surface it was their constant exposure and close proximity to white phosphorus that caused their jawbones to deteriorate. God at radium. Girls is very similar very similar. I thought of that when i was researching this matchmaking. In the nineteenth century was booming matchmakers in england in america and worldwide. For that matter. We're always looking for new innovations in match technology. That's where white phosphorus enters the picture. Of course white phosphorus very talks. Can they knew this at the time but they also quickly learned that it can be turned into a paste that could be lit on any surface surface with just a small bit of friction and so they were called strike anywhere matches. This was preeti new technology and there was a great demand for them. The were also called lucifer matches. Because has the the fire and i guess consequently factories employed scores of women through many shifts during the data manually. Dip these match sticks into phosphorus paste even though cornelia only worked eight hours a day in the factory herself most factories employed young women and girls for ten to fifteen hours a day. Wow in the morning factory workers would show up. The mixers would stir up the phosphorus with glue dryers with lineup thousands of matchsticks inter frame. And then the women known as dippers would dunk the rack of matches into the phosphorus mixture after the matches dried other workers would box them up. These women were constantly exposed to white phosphorus. One so call dipper might create as many as ten million matches in a single day all while being exposed to this deadly chemical. That's incredible. I can definitely see how like those easy too late. Matches would have been like a huge deal though. Yeah factory owners knew that there was an issue here and they did implement some minor changes in the procedure to try to limit the exposure in one factory. Employees were required to wash their hands after each shift at your dippers were required to cover their mouths while some factories actually tried to improve ventilation but they never really invested anything. Any heavy amounts of money in precautions because it cut into the profit margin. Fosse jaw was also called matchmakers leprosy because it left victims disfigured by this disease and they were often ostracized by society. Oh the first recorded case was in eighteen. Thirty eight a matchstick girl from the by eighteen forty four one doctor in vienna reported twenty two more cases of phosphorus phosphorus necrosis of the jaw but still the industry boomed with little or no regulation. Mom the doctor at bellevue. That originally treated this sixteen year. Old cornelia was so moved by her experience that he started to write about fosse jaw in eighteen fifty seven. According to his work the first sign of fossey job was a pain in the jaw that quickly followed by abscesses along the gums. Sometimes he noted the victims. Gums would glow in the dark. Dairy radium girls. It was more in more serious cases. the disease completely destroyed the jaw and caused brain damage if they did not remove the entire jaw. It was often fatal so when he removed cornelius jaw. He used a nineteenth century chainsaw described as something similar described something similar to a quote cheese. Wire i think it may have been one of those instruments talked about the previous episode episode. This was not initially successful so the doctor had to perform a second operation that ended up And ended up observing the patient for a month afterwards and then declaring cornelia quote cured and cured. He

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