X-Ray photograph of a foot in a shoe
© Science & Society
A gelatin silver print from and X-ray plate of a foot inside a boot, taken by Ernest Payne, 1896-7. Wilhelm Roentgen used the term 'X-rays' to describe his discovery of a new method of imaging in 1895. A year later, using Roentgen's process, Ernest Payne produced an album of prints taken from X-ray plates depicitng the bone structure of hands, feet and spine. It also contains images such as this study of a booted foot - a typical X-ray illustration used by the popular press.To see the bone structure of the living body must have been something of a shock to people at the end of the 19th century. In 1924, the writer Thomas Mann captured something of this radically new way of seeing in his book 'The Magic Mountain' published in 1924.