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Photograph showing an early method for testing x-rays, Europe

An early method of testing the output of X-rays using a fluoroscope is shown in this photograph. The body could be viewed through a fluoroscope without taking or developing time-consuming X-ray photographs. The X-rays instead fell on a screen which fluoresced immediately. This let the physician see the same thing as an X-ray photograph, or in this case use the fluoroscope to test the X-ray output. X-rays were discovered in 1895 by German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (1845-1923). Battlefield surgeons and medics quickly took them up. However, X-ray departments were rare in hospitals in the UK until the 1930s. This was because of the costs and the need for trained personnel. Early X-rays also took time to develop. The images were sometimes poor quality.

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Glossary: photograph

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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.