History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search


Wimshurst machine, X-ray tube and fluorescent screen

This apparatus was purchased by E. G. Spencer-Churchill, an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1898, and was used by him for taking X-ray images of the limbs of his friends for amusement purposes. On the outbreak of the Boer War, the owner became a Lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards, and the apparatus was taken to South Africa, where it was used to assist the Royal Army Medical Corps to locate bullets, shrapnel, splinters or fractures caused by enemy action. It was in use there between 1900 and 1902.

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