Jul 01 2006

Love that radiation

Published by at 4:12 pm under retro

When chatting with a friend in a park something reminded us of the shoe fitting fluoroscope what was hi-tech consumerism when I was a kid in Chicago probably in the early fifties. I don’t really know how they worked, but they displayed a low quality x-ray of feet in new shoes. Supposedly it provided the ‘best’ way to get the right fit on kids who obviously couldn’t be trusted to know what was comfortable. As I recall, the flouroscope was in a tapered box several feet high with a viewing screen on or near the top. So far, I’ve not been diagnosed as having foot cancer so maybe they were a good thing.

Somewhat similar but of more recent vintage is the practice of taking routine chest x-rays. Take a picture and look for the lung cancer you were creating wby taking the picture! Someone eventually decided they were useless or maybe just that there was a newer and better technology.

Note: Just discovered the wikipedia has a good entry on fluoroscopy that mentions the old shoe fitting machines. Fluoroscopy is still used in inproved forms as the word just means “an instrument with a fluorescent screen used for viewing X-ray images without taking and developing X-ray photographs”.

One response so far

One Response to “Love that radiation”

  1. Chicagoon 02 Jul 2006 at 7:42 am

    From an associate:
    “I’d forgotten about fluoroscopes, too. My family doctor or GP as they were known then, used a fluoroscope on me during annual checkups for several years. His office was in his home, and he must have invested a ton of money in that machine, so he used it pretty often. I would stand against it, and a screen would be put in front of me. The doctor would turn in on and be able to see inside me– at what, I’m not sure. Suddenly, one time, it wasn’t used, and when I asked why not, I could tell by the answer that there was something bad. I guess we’re lucky not to have little green monsters for children.”

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