Tuesday, 7 July 2015

History Tuesday........................X-Ray


Ok today I want to talk about X-Rays, why, well because yesterday I went and had an X- Ray of my right knee. It is still sore after I had the fall on the 17th June it is getting better, it's just slow and the doctor wanted me to have an X- Ray to see what is happening. This made me think of about X-Rays we take them for granted now days but how many of us know how long they have been around for.

I knew that the first X-Ray was in the late 1800's but wasn't sure when or who discovered/invented X-Rays. So I decided to do a little research and find out.

The year was 1895 and a German by the name of Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen was experimenting with vacuum tubes and cathode ray generators, he was testing the effect of firing the cathode ray (they are beans of electrons) within the tube and their remote effect on a nearby fluorescent screen. Understand that, nope, that's ok neither do I..................

A shimmer of light was appearing, suggesting that an invisible ray was being produced in the tube. It was only when he attempted to track these rays when he noticed that a piece of cardboard did not hinder the effect. He tested with thin pieces of metal next, finding varying levels of transparency to the rays, however was shocked when he saw a skeletal hand on the screen – the shadow of his hand.
His wife's hand

He spent the next weeks experimenting with these X-Rays, named after the common mathematical unknown, finally taking a famous image of his wife’s hand that shocked the world. Within a month, the technology was being used to image fracture bones, even though the rays were still a scientific mystery.

He was awarded the first Nobel Physics prize in 1901 for his discovery.

His discovery transformed medicine almost overnight. Within a year, the first radiology department opened in a Glasgow hospital, and the department head produced the first pictures of a kidney stone and a penny lodged in a child’s throat. Shortly after, an American physiologist used X-rays to trace food making its way through the digestive system. The public also embraced the new technology—even carnival barkers touted the wondrous rays that allowed viewing of one’s own skeleton.



13 comments:

  1. Amazing the history of the X-ray...I did know part of what you have written but enjoyed the bits I didn't know...

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    1. Yeah I knew a little but always nice to learn more

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  2. Hi, dear Jo-Anne! I'm sorry to learn that you took a tumble a few weeks ago and I hope your knee is on the mend. Thank you for this interesting history lesson about the man who developed the X-Ray. Mrs. Shady is a healthcare professional and relies heavily on his invention in her daily duties.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend Jo-Anne!

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    1. Yes it is hard to imagine how doctors managed without it, we take it for granted now days

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  3. Man, x-rays were dangerous too back in the day as no one knew what the long term effects were but that's all fixed now. xo

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    1. Yes I would like to do a bit more research about the dangers of x-rays and how long it took before the dangers where known

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  4. Amazing. Medicine has come a long way in a little over 100 years. Maybe in 2115 they'll view the MRI as we view the x-rays today. Sore knees are no fun. Hope yours heals soon. Take good care of it.

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    1. I know can you imagine what it must have been like before x-rays and such we have come a bloody long way in a fairly short period of time

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  5. Hoping the knee shapes up soon. There must be better ways to come up with an interesting post than personal injury...

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    1. Yeah the knee is still sore but it is only wear and tear and an internal bruise so hopefully I will get more use out of it in the next week or so

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  6. Fantastic post. I loved learning how this came about. I've had so many xrays in my life but never knew how they began! Thank you.

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    1. I know I never gave the history of x-rays a thought until a few days ago

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  7. I enjoy these history posts of yours :) They truly are interesting.

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