KGH: 175 years of caring - The arrival of X-ray technology

News / KGH History
By Pamela Peacock

 This week's article is by the Museum's curator, Dr. Pamela Peacock.

X-rays first made their appearance in Kingston on February 17, 1896, when the Weekly Whig reported that Captain John Bray Cochrane (1860-1946), Professor of Physics and Chemistry at the Royal Military College, had taken an x-ray image of the hand of Madame Emma Albani, a celebrated singer, as a demonstration.

Cochrane first applied the diagnostic power of the x-ray to a medical case in May of 1896. A patient named Miss Hooper had run a sewing needle into her palm, which subsequently became so swollen that physicians could not identify the location of the needle to extract it. Cochrane took two x-rays of the hand at RMC, each requiring 12 minutes of exposure, clearly identifying its location. Then, KGH surgeon Dr. R.K. Kilborn, was able to remove the needle.

Later that year, under Medical Superintendent Dr. James Third (1865-1925), KGH recruited Cochrane as the hospitalís first cathographer and acquired its own x-ray equipment. One of the first institutions in Canada to have done so, records suggest that patients travelled to Kingston from as far as Buffalo, New York to benefit from the technology.

For more information, visit the Museum of Health Care online or download the new App: "Transformation of the Kingston General Hospital 1835-1914."

KGH will mark the 175th anniversary durning the week of September 23, 2013.

Do you have an interesting story to share about your history with KGH? Use the comment section below to tell us!

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Lovell Drugs and our event sponsors, Honeywell and KCCU.