Saving Lives During War

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Highlighting Historical Romance with Caroline and Mme. Curie’s activity in World War I.

When Europe was engulfed in war in 1914, recently widowed Marie Curie put aside her world famous work in radiation that had won her two Nobel Prizes. At the request of the French government she secured her supply of radium, and looked about for work to assist in the cataclysm happening all around her.

Her goal was to help save lives, not to take them. She set about to provide x-ray technology to front line medical clinics know that the ability to locate shrapnel, bullets, and broken bones would alleviate pain and save lives.

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X-rays had been in use for nine years, but the machinery for it existed only in city hospitals. It was not commonly available and certainly not in mobile military units.

Curie set out to create mobile x-ray labs. Her idea was to equip each with a dynamo to generate electricity as well as x-ray and dark room equipment. She threw herself into fundraising among the elite of Paris, trained women as technicians (including her own daughter), organized creation of a fleet of 20 mobile labs, and—wait for it—learned to drive and carry out basic truck mechanics. What an amazing woman!

I wrote a more thorough piece on the mobile labs for History Imagined.

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I came on this interesting piece of historical trivia while researching the Great War in France for Christmas Hope.

About the Book

Christmas Hope is a wartime story in four parts. Each one ends on Christmas, 1916, 17, 18 and 19. It has been called an “epic love story.” On reviewer called it “a believable affirmation that love is the root of true courage….”

Harry needs that affirmation. After two years of war, he has run out of metaphors for death, synonyms for brown, and images for darkness. Live and hope and the form of a widow, Rosemarie, her tiny son, and their life in the floating islands of Amiens. Her love keeps him going through the dark years that follow. When the war is over, will their love be enough?

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Caroline Warfield, Author

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