science vintage tech medicine medical_imaging pet_scan positron_emission_tomography radioisotope nuclear_medicine

A PET Prototype
This device from the 1960s is an early prototype of a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Lab built this circular version of the PET scanner to image small brain tumors and nicknamed it the Head-Shrinker.
PET scans work after radioisotope tracers are introduced into the patient. The imaging equipment picks up gamma rays emitted as a result of the isotope’s decay. The system allows for functional imaging of processes throughout the body. The device is now used for research and to diagnose certain cancers, brain diseases and heart problems.[[MORE]]

A PET Prototype

This device from the 1960s is an early prototype of a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Lab built this circular version of the PET scanner to image small brain tumors and nicknamed it the Head-Shrinker.

PET scans work after radioisotope tracers are introduced into the patient. The imaging equipment picks up gamma rays emitted as a result of the isotope’s decay. The system allows for functional imaging of processes throughout the body. The device is now used for research and to diagnose certain cancers, brain diseases and heart problems.

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science education vintage bell archive gif black_and_white electricity magnets

A brief explainer on how an electric bell works, courtesy of a silent 1927 film called “A Film Lesson in General Science: Communication.” 

From the Prelinger Archives.

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archaeology vintage vintage_technology black_and_white photography aerial camera kite excavation neolithic

Before quadcopters outfitted with GoPro rigs, satellites with multispectral imaging packages or reconnaissance planes with surveillance payloads there were aerial cameras like this.  

This photographic automatic kite trolley was used to take aerial pictures of an archeological site called Jebel Moya, Sudan. The device was used by a team led by Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome, an American-British pharmaceutical entrepreneur and collector who led the 1911-1914 excavation. These pictures catalogued the important Late Neolithic cemetery and settlement that contained some 2,800 graves.

Photographs courtesy Wellcome Images

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tech vintage lightbulb light invention thomas_edison general_electric incandescent illumination
In The Beginning: 10 Inventors of the Incandescent Lightbulb

by Ysabel Yates

Thomas Edison popularized the incandescent light bulb but he didn’t invent it. In fact, there were 22 other “inventors” of the light bulb who came before Edison, according to historians Robert Friedel and Paul Israel.

Starting with Englishman Sir Humphry Davy — who first created incandescent light by passing an electrical current through a thin strip of platinum in 1802 — it seems that light bulb was invented anew every few years throughout the 19th Century.

It turns out, however, that passing current through a filament to create incandescent light was the easy part. The more difficult task was finding a long-lasting, cost-effective design for light bulbs that could be defended from the proto-patent trolls, competitors and outright frauds who sought to profit from the device. The history of the light bulb’s “invention” is one of ingenious tinkerers pursuing the same goal through a variety of different means but falling short because of technical and business problems. Edison (who founded General Electric, which sponsors this magazine) gets credit because he had the right match of technical skill and business acumen to illuminate the world.

Click below to see pictures and descriptions related to the first 10 incandescent lightbulb inventions.

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