Publication information

American Physician
Source type: journal
Document type: article
Document title: “Static Electricity Transmitted to a Distance and Several X-Ray Tubes Operated from One Machine”
Author(s): Clarke, W. B.
Date of publication: April 1902
Volume number: 28
Issue number: 4
Pagination: 114

Clarke, W. B. “Static Electricity Transmitted to a Distance and Several X-Ray Tubes Operated from One Machine.” American Physician Apr. 1902 v28n4: p. 114.
full text
William McKinley (medical care: personal response); William McKinley (medical care: use of X-rays).
Named persons
William McKinley; Muhammad [variant spelling below].
“W. B. Clarke, M. D., Indianapolis, Ind.” (p. 114).

Static Electricity Transmitted to a Distance and Several X-Ray Tubes
Operated from One Machine

     During the autumn of 1901 I made large therapeutic use of static electricity and the Roentgen rays, operating a 16-plate Betz machine, and at times felt great need of increased equipment in order to save both professional and running time. Not feeling disposed to double the apparatus, I determined to try to double its capacity, and with little trouble succeeded in doing so. It seems to me hardly probable that I am the first to secure the results to be described, nor am I claiming this, not caring one way or the other; but I may say that in a more or less extended reading of the literature, pictorial or otherwise, of static electricity I had never learned that the current may be easily transmitted from the machine and used at the bed of a patient in any room of a large house, even 100 feet away, and that the X-ray may be operated at the machine and at the same time another be produced that far away. All that is necessary to be done is to run an insulating wire from each discharge rod, positive and negative, to the point where the supplementary X-ray is to be made, the ordinary therapeutic current needing but one wire, a zinc plate, and a Geissler tube. I have not yet decided as to the limits of capacity, either as to the number of currents that may be so transmitted, the distance they may be sent, nor the number of Crookes tubes that will thus be half illuminated, but will say that several currents can be made to do work and several tubes used. Anyone wishing to know more about the limitations in this direction can now go to work and find out.
     The utility of this method need not be much enlarged upon. But a busy physician may flit from one patient to another in private stalls or rooms, or treat a patient in bed upstairs while the machine is running downstairs, with or without an attendant downstairs. A fashionable doctor’s office building may be fitted up with a machine and transmitted X-rays “thrown in” with the rent and janitor’s fees; or several physicians can “get together” and enjoy clubbing rates when not similarly engaged in their medical society meetings.
     The world has been studiously kept in the dark as to the flimsy reason why the late lamented and still lamented President McKinley was not X-rayed for that Czolgosz bullet, before or after death, by his distinguished surgical and medical attendants. Was it a case of the mountain being unable to go to Mahomet and Mahomet not being able to go to the mountain? An adaptation of the transmission feasibility hint just given would have been easy, and it would have placed everybody concerned in a better light, X-ray or any other kind.