The Horological Society of New York (HSNY) this week launches the Grace Fryer Scholarship for Female Watchmaking Students, adding it to financial aid options for those who study watchmaking at a full-time watchmaking school in the United States.
HSNY derived the name of the new scholarship from Grace Fryer (1899 – 1933), a dial painter in New Jersey who was poisoned by radium during her work in dial-making companies in the 1920s.
The women at these companies, which were located in Connecticut, Illinois and New Jersey, were instructed to point the radium-lined brushes using their lips. The Radium Girls, as the women would later be called, suffered horrific side effects from radium poisoning and many lost their lives.
Fryer spent years fighting for the Radium Girls and their case would go on to gain national media attention and establish legal precedents, having tremendous labor rights impacts and ushering scientific advances.
“I believe Aunt Grace would view this scholarship, which the Horological Society of New York has graciously named after her, as a symbol of progress for women,” says Art Fryer, Grace Fryer’s nephew. “I feel Grace would be honored to be associated with HSNY in helping to welcome women into the horological craft.”
The Grace Fryer Scholarship joins HSNY’s additional financial aid opportunities in watchmaking, which include:
- The Henry B. Fried Scholarship for Watchmaking Students
- The Benjamin Banneker Scholarship for Black Watchmaking Students
- The Oscar Waldan Scholarship for Jewish Watchmaking Students
- The Howard Robbins Award for Watchmaking Schools
Students can apply now until March 1.
Any female student who has been accepted or is currently studying at a full-time watchmaking school in the U.S. is eligible to apply to the Grace Fryer Scholarship. Prospective students may also apply, with the understanding that the scholarship is contingent on their enrollment at a full-time watchmaking school. Financial aid is awarded every April with awards up to $5,000 in 2022.