In order to be certain of showing that it was a matter of new elements, the Curies would have to produce them in demonstrable amounts, determine their atomic weight and preferably isolate them. To do so, the Curies would need tons of the costly pitchblende. However, it was known that at the Joachimsthal mine in Bohemia large slag-heaps had been left in the surrounding forests. Marie considered that radium ought to be left in the residue. A sample was sent to them from Bohemia and the slag was found to be even more active than the original mineral. Several tons of pitchblende was later put at their disposal through the good offices of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
With gender issues like pay equity for women actors and writers coming increasingly to the fore, girl squads can be seen as a positive step toward expanding female power in Hollywood, where ownership has been overwhelmingly male since the silent film era. For all its dictatorial overcontrol, however, the early studio system also provided paternalistic protection and nurturance for young women under contract. Marilyn Monroe was a tragic victim of the slow breakdown of that system: The studio made her, but in the end it could not save her from callous predators, including the Kennedys.