Photo essay: X-ray gallery
Image credit: Science Photo Library, Getty Images
X-rays have been an incredible tool for us for over 100 years. With its amazing penetrating power, high-energy electromagnetic radiation has spotted some unusual sights that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.
Little has changed in radiography since it was first used. Shadow images are still captured with a detector and film is still often processed with the same techniques of the late 1800s.
It is, however, always in development; images are now of higher quality with greater sensitivity, thanks to better film and film grain size. In many industries, digital array detectors have replaced film, which means the digital capture can go anywhere, any time, and never degrade, which physical film could.
Technology has enabled diverse fields to access radiography and the industry now has access to smaller and portable equipment, which can be used at airports and other locations that need security systems.
With radiographic inspection, many weird and wonderful items can be picked up.
Thirty-seven illegal immigrants being smuggled with a shipment of bananas out of Chiapas, Mexico. Their detection was enabled by the use of this backscatter X-ray.
Fridge, coloured X-ray. The door of the refrigerator is open, revealing bottles and eggs and various items including a whole chicken. Also seen is the compressor pumping coolant around the pipes.
This coloured X-ray of a Ducati motorbike shows us the inner workings of an incredible piece of engineering, which, perhaps surprisingly, takes only 10 to 14 hours to manufacture.
It is rare to see the insides of a laptop. This one has been coloured to distinguish the intricate pieces of the portable personal computer.
This X-ray image of a chainsaw doesn’t make it any less intimidating to look at, but it certainly adds intrigue. The original inventor of the chainsaw was Bernhard Heine, an orthopaedist who made them solely for cutting through human bone.
The insides of a dial telephone. Almon Brown Strowger developed the rotary dial in 1892, after telephone numbers began to proliferate.
For something that protects us from digesting, inhaling and contacting agents through the eyes, gas masks are deceptively simple.
A convertible VW beetle with its roof down. Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche developed the Volkswagen Beetle after receiving a contract from Adolf Hitler for prototypes in 1934.
Samuel Morland and Athanasius Kircher invented crude megaphones around 1655. Thomas Edison came up with the name ‘megaphone’ when he used the ‘speaking trumpet’ to help hard-of-hearing people.
An X-ray of a handgun. The Pew Research Center says that in 2020, handguns were involved in 59 per cent of the 13,620 US gun murders and non-negligent manslaughters for which data is available.
A petrol pump with clock. The first petrol station was opened in 1919 at Aldermaston, Berkshire by the Automobile Association. It had a single, hand-operated pump and motorists were greeted by AA petrol men in full uniform.
Desktop monitors have become ubiquitous for gaming, word processing, web browsing and data entry. LCD or LED technology powers the displays.
Although they have stayed very much the same on the outside, the car door has quietly evolved. Gadgetry like door brakes, electronic warning devices, carbon steel panels, self-locking doors, and keyless doors have all been dreamt up over the years.
A coffee machine and cups. In 1908, Melitta Bentz invented the first drip coffee maker using a filter she made from blotting paper.
Flight helmets are sometimes called a bone dome or foam dome and are a particular type of helmet usually worn by military aircrew.
A ceramic thermal heater, which works using the resistive heating principle, with a ceramic plate being the conductor.
In 1893, Alan MacMasters invented the first electric toaster. Only one side of bread could be toasted at a time, so had to be flipped by hand.
The AK-47 is said to be the deadliest weapon in human history. Every year, more than 250,000 people die from wounds inflicted by AK-47s.
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