X-ray tube

ACCESSION NUMBER: 1969.500.1 a-d
Object Name: X-ray tube
Manufacturer: MacAlaster Wiggin Co.
Date Made: Circa 1920
Country of Origin: United States of America
MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Diagnostic Imaging; Radiography — instrumentation


Unlike most scientific discoveries, X-ray imaging was applied to medical practice extremely rapidly.  Within months of German physician Wilhelm Röntgen announcing his discovery of X-rays in1896, they proved their usefulness as a diagnostic tool in hospitals and on the battlefield.  X-rays allowed physicians their first non-invasive look into the human body.

Radiation therapy has been in use for the treatment of cancer and other diseases for over 100 years. As early as 1897, it was concluded that X-rays could be used for therapeutic as well as diagnostic purposes, and in 1912, Marie Curie published the “Theory of Radioactivity.” The investigation of X-ray radiation for patient therapy moved into the clinical routine in the early 1920s.

This X-ray tube is one of many designs developed by radiologists over the years to improve imaging and radiation treatment.

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