1940s radiography

Kathleen (Kitty) C Clark and mass miniature radiography

The 2nd Edition of the classic book “Positioning in Radiography” by Kathleen (Kitty) Clara Clark FSR was published in January 1941. It was reviewed by “E.R.W.” (E. Rohan Williams) for the BJR in May 1941 (E. R. W. BJR 1941; 14 (161): 161). The book has appeared in many editions. The 3rd edition appeared in June 1942 and the 4th in April 1945 and further editions appeared at regular intervals. The book became the most important book on radiography ever written and was hugely influential. The great theme was the standardisation of radiographic projections so that a similar technique was used in all hospitals and clinics.

K C Clark also did pioneering work on the development on Mass Miniature Radiography and the Medical Research Council Special Report (Series No. 251) “Mass Miniature Radiography of Civilians for the Detection of Pulmonary Tuberculosis (Guide to Administration and Technique with a Mobile Apparatus Using 35-mm. Film: And Results of a Survey)” was published in 1945. The authors were Kathleen C Clark, P. D'Arcy Hart, Peter Kerley, and Brian C. Thompson. The book was reviewed by L.G.B in October 1945 (L. G. B. BJR 1945; 18(214): 326). 

Mass miniature radiography of the chest was being developed in the 1940s. S Cochrane Shanks was to have given his Presidential Address to the Faculty of Radiologists (this subsequently became the Royal College of Radiologists) in 1940, however because of the conditions of the war it was not formally delivered. The paper is a most interesting study of mass radiography (Shanks BJR 1940; 14(158): 45-53) of the chest and is worth reading. There is a full account of the apparatus and technique needed.

 Diagram of lay out for chest fluorography

Source: Shanks BJR 1940; 14(158): 45-53

It was followed in that same BJR issue of February 1941 by a paper from K C Clark, G R Maitland Cordiner and Phillip Ellman on X-ray screen photography for mass chest radiography (Clark, Cordiner and Ellman BJR 1941; 14(158): 54-62)


 Plan diagram showing relationship between patient, screen and camera for a miniature radiographand  in July 1941 by “Further experiments in X-ray screen photography” by K C Clark, and K T Poulsson (First Assistant Radiologist, Oslo Municipal Hospital) in collaboration with H Courtney Gage (the Director of the Radiological Department, St Mary’s Hospital, W2) (Clark, Poulsson, Gage BJR 1941; 14(163): 250-254) was published. There was considerable interest in mass chest radiography and it was thought to be useful in examining military recruits, for workers in the war industry and for the examination of season ticket holders for the public air raid shelters. The main object of mass chest radiography was to detect early pulmonary disease. The technique was to become more important in the 1950s when effective treatments for pulmonary tuberculosis with drug therapies became more available following clinical trials.


Source: Clark, Poulsson, Gage BJR 1941; 14(163): 250-254

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