The museum is open Fridays through Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free timed-entry passes are required. Review our latest visitor safety guidelines.

radium container (?); spinthariscope (?)

radium container (?); spinthariscope (?)

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
This brass and glass object is part of an accession of materials connected with Dr. Robert Abbe [b. April 13, 1851; d. March 7, 1928], a surgeon and early proponent of radium therapy. The object's purpose is not known and its connection with Abbe is not confirmed. Some possible uses include a spinthariscope (or part thereof) or a container for holding radium.
In 1903, Dr. Abbe started experimenting with radium on seeds, animals, himself, and patients, becoming one of the first American physicians to do so. He found success in treating some abnormal growths and cancers, publishing his findings and becoming an authority in the field of radiotherapy. Abbe was a surgeon at St. Luke's Hospital in New York. Near the end of his life, Abbe suffered from the effects of aplastic anemia, likely caused by years of radium exposure, requiring regular blood transfusions.
Abbe, R., “Radium and Radio-Activity," Yale Medical Journal 10 (1904) p. 436-447.
Gibson, C., "Robert Abbe 1851-1928," Annals of Surgery 88 (1928) p. 794-797.
Stark, R., "Robert Abbe: Pioneer in Plastic Surgery," Bull. N. Y. Acad. Med. 31 (1955) p. 927-950.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
radium container
spinthariscope
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
ID Number
1993.0262.16
catalog number
1993.0262.16
accession number
1993.0262
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.

Comments

Add a comment about this object