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THE WHITEHEAD & HOAG CO.
BUTTONS BADGES NOVELTIES AND SIGNS
In the late 1940s to 1950s, concentrated efforts were made in the U.S. to wipe out tuberculosis. Curbside radiology vans sponsored by tuberculosis associations serviced communities in performing x-ray exams. A national screening program emerged in 1950 from the Public Health Service’s Division of Tuberculosis. The efforts of the program resulted in 60 mobile units, each equipped with photofluorographic X-ray equipment that traveled across the country and performed free X-rays. X-rays were, at the time, seen and advertised as the most effective weapons against tuberculosis and the general public was encouraged to get yearly screening. Over 2 million chest X-ray examinations were performed throughout the country. Many states and counties ran their own programs to perform free x-rays in order to increase efforts against the rise of tuberculosis giving out buttons or lapel cards that read, “I’ve Had a Chest X-Ray. Have you?” The work resulted in a discovery of large number of cases that were now treatable at home with the availability of isoniazid. Concerns over the use of x-rays emerged from findings that even small doses of radiation exposure would prove harmful, which reduced use of x-rays for a time. States went on to ban the use of x-rays on humans by anyone other than medical or dental personnel. By 1970, tuberculosis had declined to an extent that the disease was rarely discovered through x-rays and the tuberculin skin test became preferred and less expensive way of screening.
Mobile x-ray outfit slates extra time. (1958, February 20). The Dothan Eagle. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/538772635
Pittard, J. C. (2015, November 19). A hospital for Ashe County: Four generations of Appalachian community health care. McFarland & Company, Inc, Publishers.
The early years of x-rays and informatics: A founding member of SIIM reminisces about the industry of 50 years ago. (2011, July 18). Imaging Technology News. https://www.itnonline.com/article/early-years-x-rays-and-informatics
Troan, J. (1953, March 17). Big ‘shadow hunt’ opens here next week. The Pittsburgh Press. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/143030625/