6 funny facts about history of radiology

Throughout my years practicing as an x-ray technologist, I would often get strange repetitive remarks from patients wanting to know if they would “glow” from their x-rays or set off metal detectors. I even had patients who wanted to know if their skin would burn from too many images. Some said it out of humor and some from sheer terror, regardless, many perceptions that patients have about the world of radiology stems from things they have read about the early day shenanigans and real life tragedies scientists faced when discovering this “unknown” ray called “x”. Thankfully, radiology has come a long way since those days.

1. “I have seen my death!”

This famous quote was said by the wife of William Roentgen, a German scientist who discovered x-rays by accident while studying the pathways of electricity in 1895. Used as a guinea pig, Roentgen’s wife put her hand on a photographic plate in the pathway of these unknown “x” rays for over thirty minutes to produce the first ever x-ray of her hand… wedding ring included. Upon seeing the image, she exclaimed that she had seen her own death.