DOTmed Home MRI Oncology Ultrasound Molecular Imaging X-Ray Cardiology Health IT Business Affairs
News Home Parts & Service Operating Room CT Women's Health Proton Therapy Endoscopy HTMs Mobile Imaging
Current Location:
> This Story

Log in or Register to rate this News Story
Forward Printable StoryPrint Comment




More This Month in Medical History

We all bleed the same color – the legacy of Dr. Charles Richard Drew Get to know the 'Father of the Blood Bank'

This month in medical history: Handing epidemics Dr. John Snow and the origins of epidemiology

Louis Braille - The world’s knowledge at his fingertips The life of a man who brought reading to the blind

The first (and only) female Medal of Honor winner How a doctor turned Civil War spy left her mark in history

Jonas Salk’s gift to the world Polio was a scourge, his education matched well with what was needed to find a cure

See All This Month in Medical History  

More Industry Headlines

Rad rooms get more complex while detectors lighten up A look around the industry at the latest radiology tools entering the market

TIAA Bank acquires $1.5 billion portfolio from GE Capital's HEF business Portfolio of healthcare equipment leases and loans

Driving premium platform valuations for future growth The radiology M&A market is red hot, help investors see the value in your business

DR to meet DNA: The future of X-ray Digital X-ray will soon capture motion and provide a vast array of new insights to diagnostic imaging

Life Image and Dicom Systems partner on interoperability Combine Dicom Systems' Unifier with Life Image global data-sharing network

Beyond bright and shiny: Practical applications for AI in healthcare Top takeaways from a panel on hospital-wide transformation

Screenings reduce risk of breast cancer death by 47-60 percent: study New research confirms what most physicians have long believed

Philips integrates its IntelliSpace Enterprise Edition, PerformanceBridge solutions ahead of RSNA Will be rolled out at Jackson Health System

TeamBest companies to acquire ABT Molecular Imaging, launch Best ABT Bringing greater expertise to smaller cyclotron technology

Nonresident medical device sellers operating in CA may face fines with few options for compliance 30 states do not issue the required license

This Month in Medical History – Thomas Edison and X-rays

by Sean Ruck , Contributing Editor
From the February 2017 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

Thomas Edison was born on Feb. 11, 1847. Well-known as an inventor and an astute businessman and self-promoter, the Wizard of Menlo Park, as he was called, held more than 1,200 patents. He’s perhaps best-known for his work centering on the incandescent bulb, phonographs, the kinescope (an early type of movie camera) and bringing electric light to the masses. But he could also claim credit for designing and manufacturing the fluoroscope that served as the precursor to the designs still used today, although he was not comfortable with that association since it had an unpleasant back story.

That history is attached to a nearly unknown, but more relevant subject for this month’s history lesson. And as it happens, he also fits into the issue’s January/February timeline. Clarence Madison Dally was born on Jan. 9, 1865, in Woodbridge, N.J. One of four brothers, Dally enlisted in the Navy at 17 and served for six years. After leaving the Navy, he joined his father and brothers who were working as glassblowers at the Edison Glassworks. After about a year, he went to work at the Edison Laboratory, first on incandescent lamps, and then, ultimately, on the Edison X-ray Focus Tube. It was the latter invention that would prove his undoing. Edison, like the rest of the world, was astounded when he first saw the most famous X-ray ever — the image of Wilhelm Röntgen’s wife’s hand, which showed the bones, of course, and her wedding ring. Never one to pass up an opportunity, Edison conducted a series of experiments using his own mix of chemicals. Ultimately, he settled on using calcium tungstate, which created much sharper images than Röntgen’s barium platinocyanide.

Story Continues Below Advertisement

Questions to ask and things to consider about MRI coil repair processes

What to Expect from MRI Coil Repairs that Meet Clinical Expectations and Drive ROI. Click for A Guideline of Standards to Expect and Demand for Sustainable MRI Coil Repairs

The new fluoroscope was taken to the National Electric Light Association in May 1896. Attendees were entertained with free X-rays, each standing in front of the fluorescent screen and then using the scope to see their bones. Both Edison and Dally continued their work to refine the fluoroscope, with Dally the more enthusiastic participant, subjecting himself to countless hours of high radiation.

By the age of 35, the radiation took its toll and Dally had the dubious honor of being probably the first person to suffer from radiation poisoning. His hair fell out, followed by his eyebrows and eyelashes. The skin on his face lost its elasticity and his left hand became swollen and painful, so he switched to using his right hand for the experiments. When his right hand became too painful, he took time off from work to recover. Within two years, a lesion on his left wrist worsened to the point that the hand ultimately had to be amputated. Meanwhile, he also had all the fingers of his right hand removed due to an ulceration on that limb.

The amputations didn’t catch the carcinoma and both arms were eventually amputated, first at the elbows and then at the shoulders. Edison, to his credit, kept Dally on his payroll even though the younger man, who had a wife and two sons, could no longer work. Dally died in 1904 from the effects of radiation poisoning. And Edison, oft-quoted as saying, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,” added a lesser known quote when speaking with a reporter from the New York World after abandoning his X-ray research in 1903. Edison would be quoted as saying, “Don’t talk to me about X-rays. I am afraid of them.”


You Must Be Logged In To Post A Comment

Increase Your
Brand Awareness
Auctions + Private Sales
Get The
Best Price
Buy Equipment/Parts
Find The
Lowest Price
Daily News
Read The
Latest News
Browse All
DOTmed Users
Ethics on DOTmed
View Our
Ethics Program
Gold Parts Vendor Program
Receive PH
Gold Service Dealer Program
Receive RFP/PS
Healthcare Providers
See all
HCP Tools
A Job
Parts Hunter +EasyPay
Get Parts
Recently Certified
View Recently
Certified Users
Recently Rated
View Recently
Certified Users
Rental Central
Rent Equipment
For Less
Sell Equipment/Parts
Get The
Most Money
Service Technicians Forum
Find Help
And Advice
Simple RFP
Get Equipment
Virtual Trade Show
Find Service
For Equipment
Access and use of this site is subject to the terms and conditions of our LEGAL NOTICE & PRIVACY NOTICE
Property of and Proprietary to, Inc. Copyright ©2001-2018, Inc.