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X-ray of a human skull, England, 1901-1930

Showing a human skull with injuries to the side, this X-ray is printed on a glass plate. X-rays were first discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845-1923), and the potential of being able to look inside the body without resorting to surgery was quickly realised by physicians. Despite this, take up of the technology was initially slow, and it was not until the 1930s that most hospitals in the United Kingdom had specialist X-ray departments and equipment.

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Glossary: x-ray photograph

An internal image of the body that is produced by exposing a photographic plate to X-rays.