Review of Reviews,  13 (1896), 175–76.

The New Photographic Marvel: The Röntgen Rays. Photographing Through Matter with Invisible Light



Introduction; Reportage

Relevant illustrations:

photo. [2]


Wonder, Photography, Light, Electromagnetism, Ether, Physics, Nomenclature, Metallurgy, Medical Treatment, Theory

People mentioned:

James C Maxwell , Heinrich R Hertz

    The brief introduction states that a 'scientific friend of mine has written at my request the following description' of the 'scientific sensation of the month': the 'final establishment [...] that it is possible to photograph objects without exposing the sensitive plate to the light'. Describes how 'a peculiar kind' of the cathode rays first produced by Phillip Lenard has been used by Wilhelm C Röntgen to create 'shadow photographs' of objects such as coins that were at the time obscured by 'a volume of a thousand pages, [...] a pack of playing cards, an inch of fir plank or of vulcanised rubber, and—much less easily—through glass'. (175) These 'X-rays, as he designates them', have been used by Röntgen to discern 'internal flaws in metals', and, in addition, 'a Vienna surgeon has located a grain of shot in a hand, and has successfully examined a fractured bone in a foot' (175–76). Insists, however, that although the 'discovery will undoubtedly lend itself to the most fruitful and wide application', its 'theoretical bearing is far more important' (176).

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