The British Society for the History of Radiology


Adrian Thomas’s short history of radiology is a good start to finding out  about its fascinating past. Other accounts can be found through the History tab above.


The European Society for Radiology, in cooperation with ISHRAD  and the Deutches Roentgen Museum have published two excellent free books entitled The Story of Radiology to celebrate the International Day of Radiology. Click here for Volume 1 and here for Volume 2.

Two books by BSHR Council members have been published in the last few months. Adrian Thomas and Arpan Banerjee’s History of Radiology has been published by OUP and IPEM have published Francis Duck’s Physicists and Physicians –A History of Medical Physics from the Renaissance to Röntgen.

Details through the Books tab above or click here.


Our occasional journal The Invisible Light is available to members and in libraries on publication. Pdf versions of many back issues are available on the website. Click the Journal tab above to access them.

Issue No. 38  has been circulated to members.  Contributions include:

Home BSHR Events Journal History Gallery Books Links


The aim of the Society is to stimulate interest in the History of Radiology and artefacts, for the benefit of the members and the public. We are supported by numerous professional bodies and are a registered charity:  Charity Number 1012505. For more details click on the BSHR tab.  Email

Celebrating 50 years of Angioplasty and its influence in modern day interventional radiology

By Kasim Hussain

4th Year Medical student, Bradford

The groundbreaking research undertaken by Charles Dotter (1920-1985) over fifty years ago on peripheral percutaneous transluminal angioplasty has helped to save millions of lives and limbs, and has transformed many aspects of medical practice. To commemorate the upcoming anniversary of this milestone, this article describes the historical development of angioplasty and includes influential contributors to this field in the last fifty years. It also gives an exposition of Dotter’s research and the impact that it has had on interventional radiology and by extension medical practice today.

Pioneer Greek Female Radiologists (1895-1950): Modern Daughters of Asclepius?

Christos S. Baltas, Alexia P. Balanika, Hesketh Graeme, Ioannis V. Fezoulidis

In the last decades of the 19th century and the initial decades of the 20th century, the women’s liberation movement began in Europe and raised the issue of a woman’s ability to engage in the sciences. It is worth mentioning that the Saint-Simonianism movement [France, beginning of the 19th century and whose main advocate was Claude Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de Saint-Simon (1760-1825)], set the foundations of faith in rational thinking, economic development and the progress of society as a whole. The movement also promoted religion, which gained it a wider following with both the French bourgeoisie and lay-men alike. Its followers and the movement’s idealists claimed their allegiance to science, industry, a love of structure, the importance of setting up networks, and the advancement of urban civilization. In 1894, they organized the first conference on women and science in Paris.

Poynter Lecture

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Preaching, Politics and Philanthropy: The Quakers in Pharmacy 1650 to 1900 it  will be presented by Dr Stuart Anderson

The Wellcome Building Conference Centre, 183 Euston Road, London.

Details here and on the BSHM website.

Members of BSHR are automatically members of BSHM.



22 - 23 October 2014

30 Euston Square, London

This year the BIR Annual Congress will cover a broad range of topics, including infectious diseases, cardiac imaging, imaging of the aorta, pulmonary diseases, MSK, neuroimaging, GI radiology and a special session with presentations from the industry regarding the development of the hardware, software and chemicals that we use in our daily routine.

Every session starts with a special lecture covering the historical perspectives of the topics or diseases covered in the subsequent lectures. We have selected outstanding speakers who will guide you through a journey from the early discoveries and concepts, to the modern knowledge and to the predicted future of diagnosis and treatment or technology on each topic.

By the end of this BIR Annual Congress you will have learnt not only technical information that may help with your daily activities, but also many other interesting historical aspects, which may trigger new research ideas on each of those subjects.

View the programme and register  here.


Dr Paul Frame  has built up a museum at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Tennessee that covers many aspects of atomic and nuclear history: measuring instruments, particularly those for health physics, are well represented but there is a wide-ranging collection of documents. It contains some artefacts of radiology and much of it is online.

Above: x-ray goggles c.1930 from the website


The 25th Congress of the BSHM August 2013

The History Session at UKRC June 2014

Nervous Women…ISHRAD 2012


The Radiological Society of North America is celebrating its 100th annual meeting in December this year. As part of the celebration their website has an article Preserving, Celebrating Radiology’s Revolutionary Road that you may enjoy. The RSNA’s dedicated centennial website will soon be operational but you can find plenty about their history on their main website


The exhibition ANCIENT LIVES, NEW DISCOVERIES at the British Museum until 30 November features stunning CT scans of eight mummies.  Read the review of the exhibition here.


Medical Physics: Setting the Scene for Medical Radiology

Francis Duck’s  ISHRAD lecture in Vienna 8 March 2014 in pdf form. It’s nearly 40 MB