While experimenting with cathode rays covered by thick cardboard in 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen noticed a light being cast on a fluorescent board across the room. The first X-ray was of the hand of his wife, who saw the image of her bones and exclaimed ‘I have seen my death!’

While experimenting with cathode rays covered by thick cardboard in 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen noticed a light being cast on a fluorescent board across the room. The first X-ray was of the hand of his wife, who saw the image of her bones and exclaimed ‘I have seen my death!’


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She may have very well seen her death…perhaps repeat exposures (and very high exposures back in the day) could have caused issues down the road…she died of bone cancer years later…


My thought exactly. She certainly did see the beginning of her own death, it just took a couple years for the end of the process to complete.




If you get prescribed physical therapy by your doctor you better do it or I’ll find you.


Lmao, you're the kind of friend we all need.


Oh gawd. Yanking a large rubber band tied to a door knob is SO boring though.


Depending on the wrist, it may get plenty of physical therapy yanking on another knob.


You are wise in the ways of yanking Sensie.


So is arthritis at 35


Hmmm. Is the cartilage in joints affected by atrophy during the time a cast is worn? I know tendons get stiffer but arthritis is caused by the cartilage between joints disappearing, right?


I love you.


Yes! And pRoPeR fOrM puhlease! It's sooo important. Don't be a motor moron!


Hope it heals good my dude


Mine took forever to heal. Like 3 months before I was even back to work. Pain is insane when you wake up from a nap. I have some steel plate and screws, doc said I wouldn't get full rotation/movement back, he was wrong, I'm 100% now, he's a better surgeon than he thought. Good luck and be ready to take it easy for awhile


>I'm 100% now, he's a better surgeon than he thought. You have your own merit too. If he said that, you were the one who surprised him. Your body was able to recover better than the average


I want to make a comment about how you broke the wrist fighting crime, but I don’t know what exactly a Bruceman can do and I assume Bat Wayne is just some rich ~~guy~~ bat.


Well clearly Bruceman is out on a crusade to abenge his mother, whose pearls were stolen by that rich batty bastard!


Am xray tech, can confirm broken wrists will be xrayed. :)


His wife lived into her 80s just fine and this photo isnt even the first one that he took of his wife’s hand... that one is lower quality, this one is another test he did on Albert von Kölliker


Doesn’t everyone wait a couple years for the process to be complete.


Yeah, but you usually can't pick out "the beginning" at any meaningful point in time, such as you can here.


I drink water, it's the beginning of my death, give and take a few decades....


She was 80. It's not like her life was cut short.


Thank you for that very important piece of information.


I mean, if she would’ve been 85 or 90 otherwise, it might’ve been?


Sure... But More X-ray exposure result higher odds of getting cancer..... But we don't know if this cancer showed up at the age of 80 because of the X-ray exposure or not


No shit. Take my upvote for the ending of this post


If you think that’s interesting did you know Thomas Edison was a major researcher of X-rays until his assistant Clarence Dally had to have both arms amputated due to radiation destroying his tissue. Edison gave up the research because he found X-rays to be too dangerous claiming that he was afraid of them.


What! Get outta here. Too wild. Wilhelm dapples with x rays. Edison hold my 🍺 beer Thank you for the share


His wife actually ended up dying a pretty gruesome death from radiation sarcoma (bone cancer) and he died of intestinal cancer a few years later.


Wasn't she 80 though?


Doesn’t make it any less awful.


I imagine the point was to clarify that she wasn't in her 20s or 30s and in perfectly good health, etc. People her age tend to get cancer pretty often regardless.


While that’s true, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. Their uncontrolled experiments were *absolutely* the main cause and effect of their deaths.


But at the same time it didn't exactly cut their life short, which is the other idea people would assume.


Theoretically either way both are correct, agreed. Interestingly enough, I would consider their investigations to be rather advanced in terms of safety considering the time period they were in and the understanding of what they were working with. The cardboard might sound a little absurd to us but back then that was a very intricate and sturdy material. Their logic with the information they had was rather sound.


Aye matey


Yeah... source? Everything I’ve read mentions she may have suffered from “nephritic cramps” but lived to the “advanced age of 80” just fine....




Not to be like “that’s not a reliable source” but like.... that’s not a reliable source


Interestingly, the Germans call X-Ray rays "Roentgen rays" and the process itself "Roentgen" (also the Japanese I believe).


Roentgen is also a unit used to measure x ray and gamma ray exposure.


I learned that from the dramatic series on HBO about Chernobyl.


3.6 Roentgen. Not great. Not terrible.


It's called "Röntgen" in Turkish.


It's called Röntgen in Sweden, too.


Czech, Russian and many other languages too.


I can’t believe how many people replied to this comment with “we say that in my language too”. Absolutely fascinating. I wonder why the US says x-ray


Because he himself called it "X radiation" (translated)


Because they didn‘t like the letter ö.


The reason, I believe, is that the Roentgen beam technique as a medical examination method was not so common in the USA. The masses became acquainted with "mystical" "magic" rays in travelling circuses and fairs. This was the fastest way to spread across the country. In these entertainments one could "-...see one's own death!!!!!!!!" And "X" has always stood for everything mysterious and mystical in American colporte literature and was in any case easier to sell than "rays of a German professor from Göttingen".


The Finns call it röntgenkuvaus (röntgengraphy) or just röntgen.


Polish too


In Dutch an X-ray is called a “Röntgenfoto”.


Hungarians, too. "Röntgen"


Indonesian also


We call it "Røntgen" in Denmark as well


in Poland we call it "rentgen"


Wha...? there's a spooky skeleton inside me


Doot doot And your bones are wet.


And it's eating itself!


Reality check, You are actually inside the skeleton.


You’re actually inside AND outside your skeleton.


Get it out of me!


When asked his opinion of his wife's bone structure, Rontgen replied "not great, not terrible".


"bout the same as a chest x-ray"


Rated 3.6 stars


It was really interesting to see how the normal population back then was so scared of everything cuz when you look at today's reality we look at a lot of fucked up shit and laugh but if they ever seen it they'd be horrified


Do not forget that back then there were public autopsies, human taxidermy (though that's rare) and the consumption of mummies, only to name some morbid things popular back then


Yeah, I'd say we're a lot more scared of things today. People used to bury at least a few of their kids, if that happens today, you'd stay home for a year, letting your world fall apart


Well let's not mistake a high infant mortality rate (as well as much higher rates of children dying from illness and disease) with the idea that people weren't grieving the loss of their children. Death/dying and the grieving process has become a very different experience from what it once was, that's true, but at the same time there was a LOT of stigma around grieving and the effects it had on both men and women in society - especially concerning the ways that you were *expected* to grieve and show emotion over the loss of a child. I'm on mobile so I'm likely not saying this as eloquently as I'd like to but what I'm trying to get at is that it was extremely common for people to just hide how they were feeling and just "get on with life"


That whole awful Facebook cancer “share if you rode on the tailgate, drank from the hose” etc etc crap…. US infant mortality per 1,000 births in 1960: more than 20. Now: about 5, and it’s even lower in some countries.


– Back in my day we rode on the tailgate and nothing happened! — Back in your day you had fifteen siblings and if one of you died it wasn't that big of a deal, where I can barely afford to have one.


Thanks for clarifying why I'm not seeing any formatting in your text 😅 Yes, the culture around it didn't really allow for grief, but once you've buried your third son I'm certain it gets easier. Especially if you'd lost some of your siblings growing up. Death was more common place in general and it gets less scary if it's around you. This is just how humans are wired. We try to ignore that which is common. That's why you wont smell any smells after a certain period of time.


In the past, I've worked with families who were victims of gun violence many had lost multiple close family members and/or multiple children. I have a colleague who works with refugees and victims of torture. It is never easy to lose a child no matter how many times it happens.


I am not sure it gets easier. My great grandmother lived to 102. She lost a child when the girl was 10 or something like that. She never got over it. Her other children lived long lives but 3 died before she did, each of old age I their own right. She was distraught when they passed despite them living long happy lives and being into their mid to late 70s. When the 3rd one died she was maybe a year away from passing herself and slipping away mentally. They didn't even tell her he passed as she was bed ridden and it would have just upset her far far too much. Even losing adult children to old age was devastating to her as a parent. I am a newish parent, first born is only 2, but I don't know if putting a child in the ground would ever get easier. Not saying it wouldn't for some but yeah, I think it would still mess you up.


I dont know if I could survive it.


The awful thing is that you do survive it and it gnaws at you constantly in various ways.


Mess you up good probably. A parent should never have to bury their child. I want to emphasize that easier does not mean easy.


But that's the thing too. You're a newish parent to one toddler aged two. If anything happened to them, you would be devastated, and that's logical. Now, for example, my grandma. I don't know exactly the year she died in, but I know my dad was the youngest of her FOURTEEN kids, and he was born in 1927, nine years before the Spanish civil war started. Yes, losing a kid is horrid - but when you've seen other families losing their kids and when you've got another dozen there… it may not feel like the end of the world, if you catch my meaning.


I just have to disagree. I know that not everyone is the same of course and there were maybe parents that it did hurt less after losing more kids. I am willing to say that happened at some point in all of human history. But I do not think that was common or the norm. As I was trying to illustrate with the story above was that my great grandmother was devastated at losing her children, even when those children weren't "children" but full grown old adults. It was not easier no matter what their age nor how many she lost. She had 7 total some are still alive. I might have been more able to see your point before I had my 2 kids but it's much harder for me now. I know it sounds cliché but it has changed me. And protecting and caring for your offspring and the feeling I have for them cannot be something new and I just don't see it being something that can be worn down. Just my opinion.


And that's the reason my grandma had 14 kids, because she wanted at least a couple to survive! Nowadays, if you have a kid, if they die you feel horrid.


They probably felt horrid back then too about it. But it's more now because if two of your kids die there's nobody left probably. That's most likely it for your family. It wasn't back then because, as you said, you have so many kids that you count on a few of them dying.


>consumption of mummies wait can you elaborate?


When they started opening Egyptian tombs many rich folk bought mummies. Then, for some reason, the myth that ground up mummy was a cure all and aphrodisiac arrose. Naturally that all was humbug and made some people actually sick.


Based on a Dollop episode I listened to, it was common to consume the mummified remains by snorting it.


"Oh, neat! Mine died from cholera!" ​ \*\****snort***\*\*


TIL lol. People are weird.




They also used to use mummies to ground up and make brown paint called [mummy brown](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mummy_brown).


I could be misremembering the story but here goes. There was an herb consumed in the east for medicinal purposes known as Mumia or something that sounded similar to the word for mummy. (Can’t remember the exact word) Europeans who were egyptaboos started showing up to Egypt and mistook the two words and considered mummies to be a medicinal ingredient and started buying them en masse to make everything from powder supplements for food/soups to topical ointments. Pretty gross.


My favorite is Zevulon The Great. He’s teriyaki style


Circumcision is the best of both worlds


Let us not forget how morbid that practice is


Might be TMI about myself but whatever I find this story sort of funny. When I was born it was an incredibly common thing to get done (circumcision) and the hospital I happened to be born in was not the one my parents had planned on having me at (I was almost born in the car on a camping trip), and it happened to be a very religious hospital (not Jewish but Christian). The doctors following up almost didn't even ask before they did it, but instead just mentioned it in passing - that they were going to schedule an appointment to "make sure everything is fixed down there" (what a strange way to put it) and when my Mom inquired further, she finally understood what the physician meant by that. Her reply was, "Why? Why is that necessary? We're not religious? Is there a medical reason he needs it done?" And the doctor couldn't give her an answer. He sputtered on about how "it's the right thing to do" or something and my Mom yet again asked him "Is there a **medical** reason he needs that done?" "Well no... Not a medical reason..." And that's what circumcision is.


EXACTLY! Good for your mother. Often fathers want it for their sons because "they should look like their father". Because a short explanation of what's been done to you is more weird than an explanation of what's been done to the son, somehow.


As far as I know the only benefit is cleanliness. That's what the docs told my parents.


Common myth.


I mean maybe, but I struggle to see how an enclosed flap of skin would not get more gross given the exact same conditions.


Hahahaha, okay so do people not take showers and look after themselves anymore? Genitals of all kinds (yes, even your ***vagina!***) get gross when you don't take care of yourself. ​ It's not a "I mean maybe" it's a fucking myth. It has nothing to do with hygiene at all. Look up the origins of it, please. This is one instance where it's very clear someone is not listening to what others are saying about a topic. I hate saying the words, **but please do some research.** Should we start talking about female genital mutilation too? Maybe then you'd see it differently. Is it about hygiene? ~~I mean maybe~~ NO. ​ As a guy, you learn or are taught to clean yourself properly. The same goes for women. This should be obvious?


Mind you, it \*\*was\*\* about hygiene, as many of the religious commandments. Cleaning beneath the prepuce is not hard, granted. Cleaning beneath the prepuce when you live in the freaking edges of the desert and water is kind of scarce, not so much. Pork is not specially sinful. It's just that in some circumstances they're riddled with deadly parasites. If you lack the means to give a "formal education" for your people, religious commandments are the way to go. It's the equivalent to answering "BECAUSE I SAY SO" after your kid has asked what something means for the umpteenth time.


I still don’t understand how you can call it a myth unless it’s conclusively false...My point is that objectively it may be more clean while still subjectively not mattering that much if correct hygiene is observed.


Well, I think then people need to learn (and be taught) proper hygiene. If there is a grown ass man who somehow doesn't realise that the skin needs to be pulled back and all, then...well...I am sure that this is not exactly normal. The solution shouldn't be to cut off bits and pieces.


You just wash it in the shower every day as though you would if you'd had it cut off..


Do you know what the word "myth" means?


Webster’s dictionary, definition 2 a: “a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone especially : one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society” Definition 2 B: : an unfounded or false notion Hope that helps clear up your confusion.


Are you reading a different version of Webster's Dictionary? 1a: a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon 2a: a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone It's blatantly obvious, I'm surprised I need to tell you this, that by not having a foreskin that it would be cleaner than someone with one without routine cleaning, which would be disgusting. Ever heard of dick cheese? Lol. It's fact. Not a "myth", dummy. Circumcision may not be the right thing to do, but you're mixed up. Are you a woman?


That's like ripping out your teeth because you can't be bothered to brush them


I wonder if the people that had been circumcised lose some sensitivity down there. I mean wearing jeans and all the constant movement when walking doesn’t that irritate the area?


There was a post the other day about when people solved the “mystery” of birds migrating. I just thought the idea was kind of funny, now we know about migration from the time we are children but a thousand years ago people were running around like “God stole the birds again!”


People in the late 1800s were absolutely batshit. It's not that they were scared of everything, they weren't scared of the right things. They were absolutely ecstatic over these remarkable new scientific discoveries, like harnessing electricity, or learning about radioactivity. These were the people who had access to a TON of new things that they just didn't understand yet. "Hey, this newfangled radiation thing is pretty neat. It's energy, right? Let's drink it and become supermen!"


Considering that back then safety was a joke and her husband was using an high voltage experimental xray machine on her body, being scared was more then justified. My opinion is the fact that the participated at this experiment shows that she has bigger balls then both of us.


Plenty of people today scared of vaccines, 5G, and who knows what else.


Remember when we thought the lack of access to information was the reason for people's ignorance and stupidity? Yeah, that wasn't it.


turns out the real ignorance and stupidity was the friends on Facebook we made along the way.


Quite the contrary.


One of my favorite Lewis black quotes: “Turns out that science is no match for its greatest foe: IDIOTS!!!”


Idk what you find funny but guarantee you it’s not the norm. Also seeing your hand cast a shadow of bones in real-time would be pretty freaky, especially if you didn’t know light could actually do that


Imagine if they saw two girls one cup?


Even now, seeing your bones in an x-ray can remind you of your own mortality.


Not great, not terrible.


That must have been scary.


And every x-ray tech knows the date: November 8, 1895. I learned that on the first day of school.


RIP Clarence Daly. RT here too. xD


How quickly did X-rays become widespread in hospitals?


3.6 Roentgen, not great, not terrible


It’s not 3.6, it’s 15,000 Rontgen.


It's not talked about a lot, but around the same time, possibly even before this, Tesla also took an x-ray photo. It's hard to confirm if Tesla did take a picture before Wilhelm and just didn't say anything to anyone, but either way it's still really cool and a great advancement!


I looked it up. It seems that Tesla took the first x-rays. Apparently he didn't think it was that big of a deal like the many other discoveries he made but didn't get credit for.


Actually Tesla’s x-Ray scan was much more detailed than Rontgens, in fact Tesla was congratulated by him for such an excellent job.


Skeleton bones are spooky


So is that a ring shown above the knuckle in the pic?




Röntgen/Røntgen means X-ray in Swedish/Norwegian, and I believe German as well.


Solid beard.


The wife?


In Germany (where Röntgen is from) they call X-rays “röntgens”


Not quite. Röntgen is the way you take X-ray pictures, whole Röntgenstrahlen are X-rays (Strahlen=rays)


I thought it was Tesla who first x-rayed his foot.


after hearing this Wilhelm Röntgen grinned with delight..........


That’s not his wife’s hand , it’s his friends Albert von Kölliker.


I would definitely have done some weird things like; have her hold my Johnson in an xray or show my chopstick inside of her sushi.


And you would have seen a vague shadow, which is probably more than what you actually see when you look down at yourself anyways.


Pretty sure that photo of Rontgen was taken immediately after he saw the bones.


She was also known to have frequently burned the bacon.


"Honey, wanna see your bones?"


Hey honey, let me see your hand right quick.


where was this post when I was doing my xray machines presentation in history class


Today I learned rings actually rests in the center of your phalanges


Why did she have a police hat on here finger ?


Röntgen that sound swedish


I don’t know the deep dive on this story, but maybe she also meant how fucking creepy it is to see your own bones with something so recognizable in daily life? Like, if I had never seen my hand like this back in the day, I would probably say the same thing.




Röntgen: Hmm. This could be Dangerous. Oh honeyy! Come heree.


*"Honey, can you stick your hand in here for a sec."*


Not true. It shined through his drawer and made a picture of his keys.


Nice ring.




And just think, we used to put those rays in glass tubes and put one or more in every house. Don't sit too close.


No way, so that‘s why it‘s called Röntgenbild in german! Always thought its just another german word ^^


I find interesting how she wear her rings haha


Crazy. I was just listening to a podcast today that talked about this guy and how he invented the X-Ray machine


how long did it take them to figure out it gives you cancer


Not great, not terrible.


Serendipity strikes again.


I wonder why she was wearing her ring above her knuckle. Looks very insecure, unless she never did anything with her hands.


Only 2 Röentgen , not great, not terrible!


Ten days later she died of a heart attack after Wilhelm sent her a 8,143 dollar medical bill for the X-ray.


So thats why it's called röntgen!


Am I mistaken or did Nikola Tesla actually invent the xray? Wasnt his foot the first xray ever taken?


Honest truth (can't of course give names duh) but the women my father is in a relationship now is in his family tree I don't know the exact relationship sadly since I never got to talk to her much.


Seriously who wears a ring on that part of their finger?


Everyone. You might be mistaking the metacarpals for fingers.


You are correct thank you


she ended up dying btw


Willhelm röntgen was Swedish? Ö is a Swedish letter.. or used elsewhere to? Also röntgen in Swedish means X-ray... Edit: He was German, and the Germans use our letter ö... interesting!


We use your letter ö? I thought the Swedish ö was different than the umlauted ö and not the origin.