Zenith X-ray tube and shield, England, 1901-1913

Made:
1901-1913 in Waddon and Surrey
maker:
A E Dean and Company Limited

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Zenith X-ray tube and shield, used by Lord Haden-Guest by A.E. Dean and Company Limited, Waddon, Croydon, London, England, 1901-1913.

Ringworm in schoolchildren was treated using this X-ray tube. It was made by A. E. Dean and Company in the early 1900s. Ringworm was a common complaint in the overcrowded cities. The tube was used by Lord Haden-Guest (1877-1960) at a clinic in Blackfriars, London. Haden-Guest later became a Labour MP. He had a lifelong interest in the medical welfare of children in Britain and abroad. He also served in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) during the Boer War and both World Wars. His grandson Christopher is the current 5th Baron Haden-Guest. Christopher Guest is best known for playing hapless lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel in the spoof rock band Spinal Tap.

The tube and shield are made of lead glass. This gave some protection from the X-rays. X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845-1923). The first committee to investigate the possible ill effects of X-rays was formed three years later in 1898. Reports of burns and dermatitis due to the rays were frequent by this date. Manufacturers offered protective containers for X-ray tubes from the early 1900s.

Details

Category:
Radiomedicine
Object Number:
A600225
Materials:
anticathode, copper, anticathode, tungsten, shield, glass, tube, glass, heavy load
type:
x-ray tube
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • x-ray machine
credit:
London County Council
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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