Friday, 8 May 2015

Every Picture Tells a Story

Whilst navigating the outer reaches of the internet, I came across the image above. I was instantly entranced by it especially when I read the story behind it. It is a photograph of the first clinical X-ray photograph taken in America.

On December 28th 1895 Wilhelm Röentgen announced the discovery of X-rays to the University of Wützburg, Bavaria. Word of this discovery spread and January 26, 1896 the New York newspaper the Sun ran an article about Röntgen’s discovery headlined “The New Photography.”

This was the article that caught the interest of H.H.H. Langill, a photographer. He approached Frank Austin, class of 1885, an assistant in Dartmouth College’s physics department, and offered him his photographic plates if Austin could find a suitable tube. At this time Dartmouth College possessed several tubes from Europe that were similar to the Crookes tube used in Röntgen’s experiments.

Austin began experimenting with the tubes, and he found only one that produced X-rays. The tube that produced these X-rays was known as a 'Puluj tube.' (invented by Professor Johann Puluj of the University of Vlenna). Surprisingly,Austin’s test showed that this tube was actually better than the tube used by Röntgen because it produced a greater quantity of X-rays. They also realised the potential of this discovery for medical diagnosis. Now all they needed was a patient.

Fortuitously (though not for him!) 14 year-old Eddie McCarthy fell whilst skating on the Connecticut River and injured his wrist. He was attended by Dr Gilman Frost, a professor at Dartmouth Medical School. Dr Frost's brother, Dr Edwin Frost had recently taken over the X-ray research from Austin and it was decided that Eddie was to be the first subject.

Dr G Frost explained the advantages of having his wrist X-rayed and Eddie consented to the procedure.

Incidentally the man looking at his pocket watch was not wondering if it was dinner time. He's timing the X-ray exposure.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Thought For The Day

Partly as a test and partly because I've rescanned the original image.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Hello again blog.

Should have done this yesterday.

Happy birthday hubby. Here you are on the Scillonian almost fifty years ago.

Friday, 15 April 2011


Went to Penzance last week and bought these postcards

The Scillonian III in Penzance harbour.

Land's End airport

Gyllyngdune Hotel in Falmouth. On the reverse is written 'Where I stayed for a week'. It's been turned into apartments now.

A rather charming shot titled 'Water Babies, Newlyn Cornwall'.

None of the above cards has a date.

Another wonderful photograph. Titled 'Cornish Coastguard'.

The last one has a date, 1940 and the photographer was Humphrey Spender.

Interesting guy. His Wiki page is here.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A Very Important Dog

A topical (slightly late) story.

I was born in Windsor and my parents were friends with one of the staff at the castle. He and his wife became my godparents.

There are pictures of King George VI and the royal family at Windsor. Some of them include the royal dogs. There are the famous corgis and a little hairy one called Ching. There is a good image in the Hulton Archive (Getty Images).

As Ching got older he couldn't keep up with the corgis so he went to live with my godparents in their mews apartment in the castle grounds.

My parents used to take Ching out for walks. I remember my dad telling me that he was reading a story in the paper that Ching had died, there was Ching asleep in front of the fire in my godparent's front room.

This is Ching with my godmother on the left and my grandmother on the right.

Ching at the feet of my godfather and his children.

Friday, 25 March 2011


We used to live in Tavistock when I was young. A short walk led us to the edge of Dartmoor and we used to go for picnics there.

These must have been taken on the same day.

There is me, mum and our little dog Asta.

I use a cropped version of this last one as the profile photo for the blog. I remember my dad taking it, he asked me to turn around like that so my hair would swing out.


Went to Penzance yesterday. My usual book and charity shop hop.

Not that much on offer, a slightly battered copy of Gutenberg Galaxy by Marshal McLuhan was all I found.

As it was Thursday had a curry in the Tremenheere.

Someone has a sense of humour though.