Potash regulated X-ray tube, England, 1897-1907

1897-1907 in England

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Potash regulated X-ray tube, c.1897. Full view, white perspex background with reflection.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Potash regulated X-ray tube, c.1897

An X-ray tube consists of a cathode (negative electrode) and an anode (positive electrode). Electrodes are emitted from the cathode. They flow to the anode plate generating X-rays when in a vacuum. The completeness of the vacuum inside early X-ray tubes affected its output. This could vary during use. Incorporating potash (potassium carbonate) in a side tube attempted to control this. When the vacuum became too high, heating the potash released a little gas, which lowered it. X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in November 1895.


Object Number:
anode, aluminium, anticathode, aluminium, cathode, aluminium, regulator, potash and tube, glass
x-ray tube
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • x-ray machine
Flower, A.H.

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.