Dial (company)

Radium Dial Company

The now defunct Radium Dial Company, was one of a few United States companies along with the United States Radium Corporation, involved in the painting of clocks, watches and other instrument dials using radioluminescent paint containing radium. However unlike the US Radium Corporation, it was specifically set up to paint dials only, no other radium related processing took place.


The Radium Dial Company was started in 1917 and was in full production of painted dials by 1918. The company was a division of the Standard Chemical Company based in the Marshall Field Annex building in Chicago. In 1920 the company relocated to Peru, Illinois to closer proximity to the clock manufacturer and major customer, Westclox.

The product used on the dials of the clocks was a mixture of phosphorus and radium called "Luna". By 1922 the company had moved to a former high school building in Ottawa, Illinois where it remained until the mid 1930s. At the highest point in production (around 1925), the Radium Dial Company employed around 1,000 young women who turned out around 4,300 dials each day.

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