We want to tell you a story about one of the most heroic women we've ever heard of. Her name is Marie Curie and she was instrumental in saving numerous lives during World War 1. By creating a car with x-ray machines that could run off of the electricity produced by the car engine, teaching classes on anatomy, Marie Curie, and her trainees saved untold amounts of lives through science.
It all started in 1914 when the German army was advancing toward Paris. Madame Curie packed her bags and her research and took it nearly 400 miles away and left it in a safe deposit box. (She shielded the radioactive material of course).At the time the only X-Ray machines were only found in stationary hospitals and the war front was almost never conveniently placed near one of those hospitals. So Curie enlisted the help of the Union of Women of France, after long delays in funding annoyed the future Nobel Prize winner (twice actually, yeah, she won it twice), to help purchase and outfit cars with her unique design and equipment.
Marie Curie is what we called a force multiplier, not just doing a job herself, but during the course of the war, she also trained 150 women to save lives as well. Her invention and her intrepid attitude were pivotal in the Battle of the Marne in 1914. The selfless dedication to preserving lives eventually cost her and the other 150 women to develop health issues related to their over-exposure. Not only did she develop the vehicles, train the women to run them, she also oversaw the development and construction of 200 radiological rooms at various field hospitals as well.
X-Ray technology was still relatively new at the time, but it helped doctors see where bullets, shrapnel or other foreign objects were in the soldier's body, making surgery much more effective. Due to the new nature of the technology and safety standards and practices were not implemented until after the war as Curie knew the effects of the radioactive exposure would eventually cause health problems. While still suffering and advancing science, Marie Curie wrote a book on proper and safe practices regarding the new X-Ray technology.
While she is a well-known rock-star in the field of science, few know of her exploits on the battlefield picking up where Florence Nightingale left off. Marie Curie risked her health to save lives in a continent ravaged by the first of the World Wars. Not only was she a brilliant scientific mind, but brave and certainly a role model for everyone alive today.