Model of a mobile mass miniature x-ray unit, showing equipment, operators and patients, English, ca. 1955 (?).
This is a model of a mobile mass X-ray unit. Mass miniature radiography was often used to diagnose tuberculosis (TB) in Britain from 1936 onwards. The X-rays produced were usually only 35 mm high and were viewed on a projector. Tuberculosis was difficult to diagnose as people who carried the disease sometimes appeared outwardly healthy. Mobile units were set up so whole populations could be screened for carriers. If physicians detected signs of TB on the X-ray, the patient was sent to hospital for a full size chest X-ray. The people in the model are wearing makeshift shirts to assure people they did not have to undress for the procedure.
Mass miniature radiography declined in 1960s Britain with the reduction of incidence of tuberculosis but it is still used in countries were the disease is widespread.