Poster promoting mass miniature radiography, with illustration of man from the back, smoking
‘Don't turn your back on the facts’ states this poster. It advertises mass miniature radiography. It features an image of a man smoking at a time when tuberculosis and lung cancer were responsible for 26,000 deaths in Britain. Advertising posters such as this promoted mobile X-ray screening programmes to detect pulmonary tuberculosis in large groups of people. Early diagnosis meant lower risk of infection to others such as co-workers or family. It also meant a higher chance of recovery. Mass miniature radiography produced X-rays just 10cm high. It only became possible with pre-war technological developments. These included extremely small, fast camera lenses that were applied to X-ray work. Mobile X-ray services played a large role in public health campaigns against tuberculosis in the 1940s and 1950s. Mobile X-ray services were very successful. They were phased out in the UK in the 1960s. However, they are still used in other parts of the world.