In 1895 high school director H.J. Hoffmans and hospital director Lambertus van Kleef from Maastricht decided to build their own X-ray machine, just weeks after Wilhelm Röntgen’s famous discovery. Gerrit Kemerink of Maastricht University has now fired the old beast back up again and managed to coax some good pictures from it. The BBC has both images of and by the machine, and reports:
Given that a high radiation dose might be required to carry out the tests, the team obtained a hand from a cadaver as their imaging subject – rather than the “young lady’s hand” listed in Hoffmans and van Kleef’s notes.
The team accordingly found that using a modern detector, a radiation dose 10 times higher was required from the antiquated system when compared to a modern one.
Using a photographic plate and the same imaging conditions Hoffmans and van Kleef used, a dose 1,500 times higher was required.
In Dutch X-rays are called ‘röntgenstralen’, after their discoverer.