Tesla Made an X-Ray of His Own Foot With a Machine He Designed | My Modern Met

By Jessica Stewart on September 26, 2022

Left: Martin van Meytes, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons / Right: via Radiographics

Did you know that Tesla experimented with x-ray technology?

Inventor Nikola Tesla is famous for his work with electricity and radio. Holding over 300 patents, the Serbian-American inventor was prolific, but not all of his experiments were successful or widely known. For instance, most people don’t associate Tesla with the x-ray, but he began experimenting with the technology in 1894.

Tesla started playing with radiation energy toward the end of the 19th century when he noticed damaged film from previous experiments. The following year, German physics professor Wilhelm Röntgen published a report about x-rays. To this day, the discovery of x-rays is associated with Röntgen, but Tesla was not far behind. If a fire hadn’t ravaged his studio in 1895 and destroyed all of his equipment, he may have even beat Röntgen to the punch.

Still, there were no hard feelings between the men. In fact, when Röntgen’s study came out, Tesla sent him a letter of congratulations and included some of the images that he’d been making. In return, Röntgen sent him high praise for his work.

X-ray of Tesla’s left hand, c. 1896. (Photo: Nikola Tesla, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Tesla continued to push himself to learn more about x-rays. He did his own experiments and created a high-energy vacuum tube that worked from the output of a Tesla coil—his most famous invention. Calling them “shadowgraphs,” Tesla took them using the easiest model he could find—himself. X-rays of both his foot (with the metal pieces of his shoe still visible) and his hand are a great testament to his work.[…]

Read more: Tesla Made an X-Ray of His Own Foot With a Machine He Designed

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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