Although Roentgen refused to patent his discovery, his work began a revolution in medical imaging and cancer treatment that was advanced by developments by the many companies that followed. The work of medical physics researchers and inventors in these companies improved the capabilities and functionality of the instrumentation used and made possible the widespread, effective and safe use of x-rays in medical care. Many of the early companies are no longer in the field or have merged with others; such companies have included Keleket, Wappler, Patterson, Victor X-ray, Snook, Pako, Halsey, and American X-Ray Manufacturing. By the 1950’s, the leading radiological equipment manufacturers in the US were Westinghouse, General Electric, and Picker X-Ray with several smaller companies including Standard X-Ray, Continental X-Ray, and Profexray. In the European market, Philips and Siemens were prominent, while CGR dominated in France and GEC in England; meanwhile in Japan, companies such as Hitachi, Shimadzu, and Toshiba (Tokyo Shibaura) were foremost.
The following pages show advertisements from the 1939 issues of The American Journal of Roentgenology and Radium Therapy to demonstrate how far the technology advanced at that point in history prior to World War II and how far we have come since then.
*This gallery was assembled by Daniel R. Bednarek, PhD, Curator of the University at Buffalo Museum of Radiology and Medical Physics