X-rays provided ideal bone show

LOOKING not unlike a cross between Dr Frankenstein's laboratory and an electrical sub-station, this tiled and functional space was Glasgow Royal Infirmary's first X-ray unit.

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Discovered in the 1870s, X-rays were a medical miracle, allowing doctors to see inside a living body.

The first use of X-rays under clinical conditions was by John Hall-Edwards in Birmingham, in January 1896, when he found a needle stuck in the hand of a friend.

Despite the radiation dangers of X rays, manufacturers were quick to capitalise on them. By the 1930s, most UK shoe shops featured large X-ray machines - Pedoscopes - with which customers could watch their toe bones wiggling inside their shoes.

Today, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are the latest technology.


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