How the Radioactive Friendship of Marie Curie and Loie Fuller Changed the World
The Paris friendship of Marie Curie and Loie Fuller is not only inspiring, but many aspects of their work has shaped our world and made it better.
Author Liz Heinecke has written a book that tells the tale of the unlikely friendship between Marie Curie and Loie Fuller. Many may not fully know the legacy of the two women, but "Radiant: The Dancer, The Scientist, and a Friendship Forged in Light," explains how it came to be.
Marie Curie was a Polish scientist who traveled to Paris to escape a society where she wasn't allowed to pursue education. While studying, she discovered two radioactive elements: radium and polonium. She also not only coined the phrase radioactivity, but she was the first to measure it.
Marie broke down barriers becoming a groundbreaking scientist and one of the most famous people in Paris. And she did it at a time when there were no woman scientists. She later won two Nobel prizes.
Loie was an artist and dancer that came to Paris in hopes of finding an audience to appreciate her craft. She was known for designing lavish gowns and found a way to use electric stage lights effectively in her costumes. Loie would also add lighting gels to illuminate her gowns. This caused her to become a hit in Paris.
Marie and Loie met after Loie wrote a letter to Marie asking for radium. She explained that she wanted it to light her dancing costumes. Marie denied Loie's request, stating that the element was too expensive and dangerous.
Loie, not taking no for an answer, insisted that Marie see her dance. This led to Loie and Marie developed this lifelong friendship.
To this day, their talent continues to impact the world. Marie's discovery of radium led to doctors using radioactive elements to treat cancer. Loie's art nouveau influence can still be seen today at theaters, plays, or concerts. Loie was the first to do colorful lights, illuminating sheer screens and various other artistic elements that are popular today.
As Liz Heinecke explains, Marie and Loie's legacy is an indication of what hard work can achieve. "I think these women are a wonderful example of what hard work, and persistence, and some good luck can do," she told Inside Edition Digital. "And I do think if there is a moral to this story, it's just to embrace technology. It can really bring you wonderful things. For Loie and Marie, it brought them wonderful things. It allowed them to be creative. It sort of was their life's work."
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