Vol. II, No. 1.  Looking Back at . . . December 1, 1896.

Something About X Rays for Everybody

by Edward Trevert

A Review

Edward Trevert has written an interesting book which can be used as a guide to the construction of x-ray equipment and conducting experiments which demonstrate the imaging characteristics of x-radiation.

The book was published during the summer of 1896 by Bubier Publishing, Lynn, MA.

In addition to his own original descriptions the author has compiled articles from the leading electrical journals which include: Bubier's Popular Electrician, The Electrical World, The Electrical Engineer, The Electrical Review, Electricity, The Western Electrician, The New York World, The Boston Post and the Scientific American.

The book consists of three chapters.

Chapter 1 - The Intensity Coil and the Crookes Tube

This chapter gives detailed instructions on the construction of an induction intensity coil and the discharge electrodes and condenser which are required for the production of a high electrical potential.

Also included is a description of the Crookes tube which can be used for x-ray production. In a discussion first published in the Electrical World, Elihu Thomson describes an improved design for an x-ray tube which contains concave cathodes which focus the cathode rays onto a metal anode. This design should produce more intense radiation with a much smaller actual source than the conventional Crookes tube. This design is illustrated below.

The Thomson variation of the Crookes tube.

Chapter 2 - Experiments with X Rays

This chapter describes how to set up the equipment for x-ray experiments. There is one interesting sketch by Thomas Edison showing the basic circuit for energizing a discharge tube. This is reproduced below.
Sketch drawn by Thomas A. Edison for energizing a discharge tube.

The results of many experiments by several investigators are included. These are illustrated with excellent images, especially of hands.

One especially interesting image is the photograph of the hand of a corpse, taken by means of the Roentgen rays, by Mr. Haschek and Dr. Lindenthal, in Professor Franz Exner's physicochemical institute in Vienna. To them belongs the honor of being the first to apply the wonderful discovery of the Wurzburg investigator to a new branch of research. The vessels in the hand--which was the hand of an old woman--are shown by the injection of Teichmann's mixture, which consists of lime, cinnabar (mercury) and petroleum. This is shown below.

First angiogram of a hand.

Chapter 3 - The Fluoroscope and Other Apparatus

Described here is a basic hand-held fluoroscope (shown below) and other useful information relating to experiments with x-rays.

A basic hand-held fluoroscope.


Various types of x-ray tubes.

Some Various Types of X-Ray Tubes.

A large number of tubes have already been employed in different experiments with, and applications of, the X-rays for photography, and in connection with the fluoroscope. Mr. G. Seguy has constructed and experimented upon several types, and he has gathered a collection which is illustrated in "La Nature."

There exist at the present time three methods of obtaining the X-rays. That employed in the very beginning is based on the direct action of the ray. The second permits of obtaining instantaneity in the radiograph, and is based on a reflection action. The third is a result of the combination of the first two methods.

In the accompanying engravings, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 26, 28 and 32 are constructed according to the principles of the first methods. Nos. 5, 8, 9, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29 and 30 employ the second method; that is, the theory of the reflection of the cathode rays and of the phenomenon of internal electrolysis of the volatilized molecules. The tubes Nos. 19, 22 and 31 produce X-rays according to the two combined theories.

The numbers accompanying each tube designate the design of the various experimenters, as follows: 1 and 2, Crookes ; 3, Seguy; 4, Wood; 5, Seguy; 6, Chabaud-Hurmuzescu; 7, Seguy; 8, Thompson; 9, Seguy; 10, d'Arsonval; 11, Seguy; 12, Puluj; 13, Seguy; 14, d'Arsonval; 15, Le Roux; 16, 17 and 18, Seguy; 19, de Rufz; 20, Crookes; 21, 22, 23, Seguy; 24, Roentgen; 25, Brunet-Seguy; 26, 27, Le Roux; 28, Colardeau; 29, Seguy; 30, Colardeau; 31, Seguy; 32, Roentgen.

Book Reproduction Now Available

A reproduction of this book has been printed and is now available for $16.95 from:
Medical Physics Publishing Corp.
4513 Vernon Blvd.
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Fax: (608) 265-2121
Email: mpp@macc.wisc. edu

In the Nov. 1, 1895 edition of The X-ray Century we examined the history of gas discharge tubes.

In the Nov. 8, 1895 edition of The X-ray Century we were there when Prof. Roentgen discovered a new kind of ray.

In the Dec. 1, 1895 edition of The X-ray Century we looked at the investigation which led Dr. Roentgen to write this paper.

In the Jan. 1, 1896 edition of The X-ray Century we read Prof. Roentgen's first paper describing the new kind of ray.

In the Feb. 1, 1896 edition of The X-ray Century we watched the word spread around the world.

In the March 1, 1896 edition of The X-ray Century we saw the first uses of x-rays for diagnostic purposes in several different countries.

In the April 1, 1896 edition of The X-ray Century we looked on as Becquerel discovered radioactivity.

In the May 1, 1896 edition of The X-ray Century we were there as a writer from McClure's Magazine interviewed Dr. Roentgen.

In the June 1, 1896 edition of The X-ray Century we read Dr. Roentgen's second paper describing the ability of the x-rays to electrify air and other substances.

In the Sept.1, 1896 edition of The X-ray Century we read an article by Dr. Lodge explaining how the x-rays work.

The next edition of The X-Ray Century will be published March 1; subsequent editions will be published on a quarterly basis.

You are visitor number X-ray Century Counter to this web site since February 1, 1996.

Webmaster: medjep@emory.edu