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Induction coil for use with X-ray apparatus, London, England, 1896-1897

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Before mains electricity was reliably available, electric power in the form of a spark was generated using an induction coil. The coil was patented by scientific instrument maker Alfred Apps in 1867 and this example dates from the 1890s or 1900s. It was used with an X-ray tube. This coil also has a hammer-break interrupter. This device periodically and automatically opens and closes an electric circuit to produce pulses of power.

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    Techniques and Technologies:


    Glossary: x-rays

    A wave of electromagnetic radiation that has high energy and short wavelength. It is able to pass through many materials, except those of high density such as metals or bones. Discovered in 1895 by William Roentgen.

    Glossary: x-ray accessory

    A term that can be applied to any of the accessories needed to safely complete an X-ray scan. These can include: units for processing the X-ray pictures; equipment to protect the person taking the photo from radiation; aids to help the taker correctly position the X-ray machine.