Category Archives: Visual culture

The Curious History of the Röntgen Ray, Part VI: Completely Harmless — Odorless — Safe and Educational


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Although the dangers of X-ray exposure were increasingly understood by clinicians and laypeople, a notable exception to this shift in attitude was shoe-stores’ use of the fluoroscope. From the 1920s through the 1950s these machines…

The Curious History of the Röntgen Ray, Part IV


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In the Long Shadow of the X-Ray The “light side” of X-rays—the faddishness and popular appeal—is only one side of the story. A major step forward in medical diagnostics and therapy, this new technology saved lives.…

“I have seen my own death!”: The Curious History of the Röntgen Ray


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The Curious History of the Röntgen Ray  The skeletal hand of a woman, embellished with jewelry and a small spray of flowers, has a distinctly somber and funereal aspect. Nothing in this image connotes living,…

It’s always the same old story

A few years ago, the New York Times featured an article about the short-lived Greenwich Village Bookshop and its very special door. More specifically, about the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, which…