Jackson X-ray tube, 1896.

Image number: 10284499

Jackson X-ray tube, 1896.

This is a very early example of an X-ray tube, through which electricity was passed. It features a cup-shaped cathode which serves to focus the cathode rays onto the target (a platinum anode). When the rays hit the anode, their energy changed into invisible X-rays, which passed out through the glass. Experiments revealed that these rays penetrated some substances more easily than others, and also fogged photographic plates. The fact that X-rays could produce images differentiating between the densities of body tissues, was a discovery which the medical profession was keen to exploit.

Image number:
Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
Date taken:
20 October 2003 12:35
Image rights:
Science Museum

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