X-Ray Tube


Cold cathode glass x-ray tube with a large copper heat sink surrounding the tungsten target on the anticathode, and a “KESSELRING X-RAY TUBE CO. / CHICAGO, ILL. / PATENTED NOV. 23, ????” inscription. Hermann M. Kesselring was a German citizen living in Chicago, who was still in business in 1921.

Emil Hermann Grubbé (1875-1960), the donor, was a graduate of Valparaiso University and a student at the Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago who in 1896, while playing around with Crookes tubes, found his hands becoming itchy, swollen and blistered. Soon thereafter, Grubbé learned that Wilhelm Röntgen, a German physicist, had discovered that Crookes tubes emit curious and invisible penetrating rays that he called X-rays. Grubbé built an X-ray machine soon thereafter and used it for therapeutic purposes.

Ref: Henry Lyman Sayen, “Roentgen Ray Tube,” U.S. Patent 594,036 (Nov. 23, 1897), assigned to The Queen Company.

“DR. E. H. GRUBBÉ, X-RAY PIONEER, DIES AT AGE 85,” Chicago Tribune (March 27, 1960), p. A7.

Paul C. Hodges, The Life and Times of Emil H. Grubbe (1964).

Maker: Kesselring X-Ray Tube Company

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Illinois, Chicago

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Emil Grubbé

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MG.M-05010Accession Number: 161220Catalog Number: M-05010

Object Name: X-Ray Tubetube, x-ray

Physical Description: glass (overall material)metal (overall material)metal, copper (overall material)rubber (overall material)Measurements: average spatial: 33 cm x 18 cm x 53 cm; 13 in x 7 3/32 in x 20 7/8 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a9-b005-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1132047

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.