Protective Housing for X-ray Tube (ca. 1930s)

Protective Housing for X-ray Tube (ca. 1930s)

This device was designed to enclose an X-ray tube and to provide two types of protection: radiological and electrical. 

There are no markings on it, nor do I know of a similar example. As such, the manufacturer and the date of manufacture are unknown. If I had to guess the manufacturer, I would go with General Electric. With regard to the time of manufacture, I would guess that it dates from 1935 plus or minus five years.

To provide the radiological protection, this tube housing is made of 1/8" steel, except for the square window through which the X-ray beam would be directed. This opening is covered with a thin aluminum filter. In modern tubes, the housing would probably be lined with lead if the tube was rated for potentials of 70 kV or above. Below 70 kV, the X-rays would be of low enough energy to be shielded by other metals.

protective housing for x-ray tube open

During use, an appropriate collimator would be attached to the housing in order to limit the size of the X-ray beam.

With regard to potential electrical hazards, the outer metal casing is conductive—this permits potentially harmful currents to be directed safely to ground. In addition, the electrical connections and cables are insulated and located towards the rear of the tube (away from the patient and radiologist).

The slot openings in the housing facilitated cooling by allowing air to flow around the tube.

Size: Approximately 6" diameter, 17" long

Donated by Ron Kathren.