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.


NETHERLANDS – the unique website about the historical development of radiotherapy in the Netherlands Cancer Institute – provides more information than ever and comes to you in English.

In 2013 the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) celebrated its centennial anniversary. On this memorable occasion a special website was launched covering the historical development of radiotherapy in the Netherlands Cancer Institute, including medical physics and radiobiology, with many detailed stories and unique images:  .  It is a real ‘must visit’ for those interested in the history of radiotherapy and of the Netherlands Cancer Institute in particular.

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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


The British Institute of Radiology has produced a short film about the history of radiology during World War 1.  BIR past-president, Professor Andrew Jones, interviews  Adrian Thomas about the important role of radiology during the war and some of the major figures during that period. The film features some interesting artefacts.

Find it here.


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 celebrated its 100th annual meeting in December last 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 is operational and you can  find plenty of information there and on their main website


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


VERONA  18 OCT 2014

Dr Arpan K Banerjee -- Chairman British Society for the History of Radiology

      Verona, Italy  was the magnificient setting of the latest scientific meeting organised by ISHRAD.(International Society for the History of Radiology) This year’s theme was military radiology in keeping with the general interest in military matters generated by the worldwide commemorative events generated by the centenary of the First World War. The exact venue was the Officer’s Club adjacent to the medieval Castelvecchio an important historical landmark and medieval moated castle  overlooking the river Adige in Verona.  A salon in the grand setting of the Officer’s club was the venue for the exciting programme of lectures.

Lectures  included  Rene Van Tiggelen form Belgium on military radiology in World War 1 followed by Mario Reggio from Italy on special Italian Military equipment for WW1. Ambulances/trucks were converted into vehicles with equipment for developing films. Adrian Thomas from UK talked about Florence Stoney, the  first woman military radiologist. In the afternoon  Arpan K Banerjee from UK talked about John Hall Edwards the Birmingham Radiology pioneer and his involvement in  the Boer War.  Alfredo Buzzi from Argentina talked about Samuel Stuart Pennington and the Battle of the River Plate. The meeting concluded with a talk by Judith Amorosa from USA whose talk was titled Updating the events at the radiology department  of Zhido Korhaz (Jewish Hospital )  in Budapest ,Hungary in 1944 an area which Dr Amorosa has been researching for several years.

Attendees had a chance to visit the Castelvecchio  museum located in the site of the fourteenth century castle and see its famous collections of medieval paintings, sculptures and military artefacts.  On Sunday a walking tour of this historic city enabled all to visit the Bra square with the remarkable 2000 year old Roman built arena (still the venue for large musical events today) as well as historical arches, palaces, churches  and squares including Piazza Erbe and Piazza dei Signori with its statues  of Fracastorius the famous sixteenth century Veronese physician and poet( coiner of the term syphilis in his famous work-‘ syphilidis, sive Morbi Gallici’) and Dante the famous  writer from the 14th century(also probably a physician before turning to literature) who penned the third part of the Divine Comedy- ‘Paradise’ in this beautiful city. No trip to Verona would be complete without the obligatory visit to the Casa Romeo and Casa Juliet which draws in tourists by the thousands although ironically the setting of  Shakespeare’s play was not a city which Shakespeare himself ever visited.

All those who attended including members of the British Society for the History of Radiology enjoyed the lectures, convivial company and delights of this ancient city and participants all thank Mario Reggio for hosting the meeting in Verona.


The annual lecture  at the AGM in February was a fascinating talk about the massively impressive exhibition at the British Museum featuring state-of-the-art CT scans of Egyptian mummies. Read Arpan Banerjee’s account, first published in the April RAD Magazine.

(Image courtesy the Trustees of the British Museum)

Review of History of Radiology Session  UKRC Radiology Conference 2015, June 30, Liverpool.

Reviewed by Dr Arpan K Banerjee, Chairman British Society for the History of Radiology

This year’s annual  congress was held in Liverpool and again the British Society for the History of Radiology organised  a successful  session of talks  attended by a wide range of delegates.

Opening the session was an interesting paper  by Bland et al  from the City University in London in collaboration with the London Archaeology museum. Traditionally  the Moores coding system has been used to assess maxillary and mandibular development which are macroscopic  visual methods.

The recent Crossrail project in London  enabled the assessment of a number  of children’s dental specimens to be analysed from the  Paddington street burial ground  (1771-1853) and the authors used dental panoramic and apical radiography to supplement the traditional analysis. They  concluded from their results that radiographic  assessments  could provide a more accurate assessment of age although the numbers were small and further assessment is probably needed in this area.

The next talk delivered by Prof Adrian Thomas  was about Charles Thurston Holland of Liverpool-1896 and beyond. Holland  was a Liverpool man who like many of the early pioneers started of as a general practitioner who ended up as a leading light in UK and world radiology . He collaborated with the famous orthopaedic surgeon from Liverpool  Sir Robert Jones and worked at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary.  Many of his early cases were presented and it is interesting to note his comments about poor clinical examinations being conducted by medical students and  young doctors – sentiments which echo around modern radiology departments a century later!  Holland became internationally well known following the organisation of the first international congress of radiology of which he was elected president in 1925.

Francis Duck delivered an interesting talk on the early years of radiology in Bath. James Gifford delivered a lecture on the new photography on 7Feb1896 at the Bath Photographic Society. A Bath instrument maker John Rudge carried out the first radiograph of a patient in the Royal United Hospital in March 1896. It took a further 5 years to fund a Xray service which just goes to confirm that service development  was slow all those years  ago and not a new phenomenon!  Patience and persistence win the day in the end.

The next talk delivered by  Dr S Patil  celebrated the life of Charles Dotter, the father of interventional radiology.   A professor  by the age of 32, Dotter worked at Oregon U.S.A, wrote 300 papers and is credited with doing the first peripheral angioplasty. He was a polymath with a wide range of interests including flying , mountain climbing, photography and classical music and was nominated for the Nobel Prize.

The final talk delivered by Dr Arpan K Banerjee was on ‘Vesalius , Radiology and Art’. Dec 31 2014 was the quincentenary of the birth of the world’s greatest anatomist and author  of one of the greatest medical books ever written ‘De Humanis Corporis Fabrica’ published in 1543. Anatomy  has always been the basis of radiology and illustrations from the book along with the recently published annotated version to celebrate the quincentenary were presented and the relationship of these images to modern imaging techniques were shown with particular emphasis on new works of art generated by diagnostic imaging techniques which illustrated how art , anatomy and diagnostic imaging were all intertwined and and had gone round in a full circle.

In addition to the lecture session the Society as usual hosted a stand themed around Charles Thurston Holland the Liverpool pioneer. The exhibits and old books and journals proved popular with delegates and the society thanks  Dr Adrian Thomas and others who helped on the stand for their contribution.


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.