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I Had a Chest X-Ray

I Had a Chest X-Ray Club Button Museum
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I Had a Chest X-Ray button back Club Button Museum
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Text on Button: 
I'VE HAD A CHEST X-RAY HAVE YOU?
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Blue, red and white text on a white crosslike shape on a blue background

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THE WHITEHEAD & HOAG CO. 
BUTTONS BADGES NOVELTIES AND SIGNS 
NEWARK, N.J.

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In the late 1940s to 1950s, there became concentrated efforts in the U.S. to wipe out tuberculosis. Curbside radiology vans sponsored by tuberculosis associations would service communities in performing x-ray exams. A national screen program emerged in 1950 by 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 would travel across the country and perform 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 would run their own programs to perform free x-rays in order to increase efforts against the rise of tuberculosis. Some would give out buttons or lapel cards that read, “I’ve Had a Chest X-Ray. Have you?” The work would result 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, resulting in reduced use of x-rays for a time. States would go 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 would become preferred and less expensive way of screening.

Sources: 

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/

Catalog ID: 
CL0500
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