Tin of 'Horlicks X-ray Shadow Meal', England, 1938-1950

Made:
1938-1950 in Slough
maker:
Horlicks Limited
Tin of  'Horlicks X-Ray Shadow Meal' barium sulphate compound Tin of "Horlicks x-ray Shadow Meal" barium sulphate compound by

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Tin of 'Horlicks X-Ray Shadow Meal' barium sulphate compound
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Tin of "Horlicks x-ray Shadow Meal" barium sulphate compound by
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Tin of 'Horlicks X-Ray Shadow Meal' barium sulphate compound by Horlicks Ltd., Slough, England, 1938-1950.

Bones show up easily on an X-ray but soft tissues such as guts and intestines hardly show at all. To improve the quality of the X-ray, what is known as a contrast medium is used. This is intended to improve the detail of these otherwise barely visible structures.

For example, after a patient drinks a solution of barium sulphate, the guts show up as an opaque white colour in subsequent X-rays. To make the liquid easier to drink, it was sometimes flavoured with the popular malted milk drink Horlicks. Barium sulphate is still used today to improve contrast in X-ray images.

Details

Category:
Radiomedicine
Object Number:
1981-595/1
Materials:
steel (metal) and paper label
Measurements:
overall: 185 mm 155 mm, 1.62 kg
type:
x-ray contrast media