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Thorascope x-ray unit, London, 1951-1960

The Thorascope is a fluoroscopic X-ray unit. It relieves the burden on busy hospital X-ray departments. It was most likely found in the consulting rooms of private practitioners or in tuberculosis screening centres. The Thorascope is a compact and self-contained machine. The controls are grouped on a single panel on the left of the fluorescent screen. Only one person is needed to operate the machine. Fluoroscopic X-rays involved viewing images on a fluorescent screen instead of photographic film. The technique was used extensively in the early years of radiology. Using X-ray machines in tuberculosis centres allowed quick diagnosis and early treatment.

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Glossary: x-ray machine

An X-ray machine is a device used by radiographers to acquire an x-ray image. They are used in various fields, notably medicine and security.

Glossary: tuberculosis

An infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium first identified by Robert Koch in 1882. The disease usually affects the lungs first, and is accompanied by a chronic cough.