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'X-ray' of a maid spying at a keyhole, 27 March 1896.

'X-ray' of a maid spying at a keyhole, 27 March 1896.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 32cm


This Punch cartoon was produced four months after Roentgen discovered X-rays and two months after the discovery became public knowledge. This and other cartoons are testimony to the enormous public interest aroused by X-rays. This cartoon also illustrates one of the common misconceptions about X-rays at the time. X-ray photographs cannot be taken like an ordinary photgraph, as implied here. Because they misunderstood what they could do, many people saw X-rays as a threat to decency and good taste.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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