In 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen invented the x-ray. He continued experiments by placing several different objects between a tube and a screen. At one point, he held a lead pipe up to the ray and saw the bones of his fingers on the screen. This is the base of x-ray as we know it. The algebraic term for the unknown, “X”, was used to describe this ray.

Before the invention of the x-ray, doctors had to poke, prod, and use their sense of touch to find the source of injuries. Today’s radiology systems are highly sophisticated machines that can detect abnormalities, injury and illness.

X-rays played an important role in WWII by being used in military strategies such as radar, submarine detection, and nuclear weapons development.

Today, x-ray is used to screen bags and luggage in airports and security checkpoints to check for bombs and weapons. It is also used to detect underlying artwork on famous artistic masterpieces. CT has been widely used in dating and understanding Egyptian mummies.

Dental x-rays can be used as evidence in court proceedings and as a means of determining identification.

Help us honor this wonderful invention by celebrating National Radiologic Technology Week (November 5-11, 2017) where we commend the men and women that have dedicated their lives to the fascinating science.

View the “Discovering the Inside Story” infographic.

Learn more about the imaging services offered at Virginia Gay Hospital, by visiting their web page.