The dueling designs for the modern x-ray tube in World War I
Twenty years before the start of World War I, a new "light" that could pass through a human body revealing its underlying structures caused a public sensation. Within a few years, the x-ray had become a standard worldwide diagnostic tool in medicine. The early equipment used to produce the x-rays was unstable and difficult to use, but scientists Julius Lilienfeld of Germany and William Coolidge of America found solutions independent of each other at essentially the same time. Their similar, sometimes competing, work during World War I resulted in the x-ray technology we use today.