Röntgenology a little history lesson


Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen and laboratory in Wurberg German Discovery of X-rays 

On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered “A New Kind of Rays”, which he named “X-rays” in a laboratory at the University of Wurzburg. He received the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for his discovery.

The famous radiograph made by Röntgen on 22 December 1895, and sent to physicist Franz Exner in Vienna. This is traditionally known as "the first X-ray picture" and "the radiograph of Mrs. Röntgen's hand. "

Radiograph of the hand of Albert von Kolliker first public demonstration of x-rays

Radiograph of the hand of Albert von Kolliker, made at the conclusion of Röntgen's first public lecture and demonstration at the Wurzburg Physical-Medical Society on 23 January 1896. Notice the improvement in image quality in a little over two months since the discovery.

Worlds First Intra oral radiograph

Otto Walkhoff, a dentist in Braunschweig, Germany, produced the first dental radiographs in January 1896, less than two weeks after Roentgen's announcement of his discovery. Walkhoff placed a small glass photographic plate coated with rubber dam in his own mouth, then seated himself for a twenty-five minute exposure to the rays. Although the resulting shadows were less than adequate for any diagnostic purposes, the possible applications of the technique were clear.

Dr. William G. Morton, a New York physician has the distinction of taking the first dental radiograph in America in 1896. He presented a paper to the New York Odontological Society on April 24, 1896 which was later published in Dental Cosmos in June 1896.

Dr. C. Edmund Kells of New Orleans was the first dentist in the United States to take an intra-oral radiograph of a live patient. He presented a paper on the field at a meeting of the Southern Dental Association in July 1896. Exposure times were five to fifteen minutes and developing time was thirty to sixty minutes. By 1899, Kells had reduced exposure times to one to five minutes. 

The first intra-oral sensors were photographic glass plates wrapped in sheets of rubber. Eastman Kodak produced the first pre-packaged intra-oral film.

The "Record," made by Reiniger-Gebbert and Schall (later the Siemens Corp.) of Germany in 1905. Probably the first commercially manufactured dental X-ray unit, the apparatus included lead shielding and a collimator for intra-oral radiography.

First Commercial Dental X-ray made in the US

The first commercially made dental x-ray unit in the U.S. was offered in 1913 by the American X-Ray Equipment Co. of Cleveland. By 1917, as pictured here, the complete "outfit" included a generator with spark gap, tube, tube stand, films, developing chemical, and lead shielding The apparatus was sold for about $300.

1930 Picker Dental Xray Unit

By the 1930's Dental X-ray Units had been developed to the basic components that are used today. While many improvements have been made in the electronics, tube design and materials the basic design is the same.