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Publication numberUS2135019 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 1, 1938
Filing dateJul 2, 1936
Priority dateJul 2, 1936
Publication numberUS 2135019 A, US 2135019A, US-A-2135019, US2135019 A, US2135019A
InventorsStruck George R
Original AssigneeEdward M Wharf Jr, Struck George R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
X-ray apparatus
US 2135019 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov; 1, 193s.

G. R. sTRUK X-RAY APPARATUS l Filed July 2, 1936 2 Sheets-Sheet l [Ill/11110 SMM@ INVENTOR s knuixaisulnlni! Patented Nov. 1, 1938 PATENTQOFFICE X-RAY APPARATUS George R. Struck, Manhasset, N. Y., assignor to George R. Struck and Edward M. Wharf, Jr., a partnership doing business as Precision Radiographs, Chicago, Ill.

Application July 2, 1936, Serial No. 88,508

'z claims.Y (o1. 250k-7a4) The invention relates to the science of radioscopy, and in its more particular aspects to improvements in the apparatus used for holding an X-ray sensitive member in a desired relationship to a subject anda source of the X-rays.

The diagnosis of pulmonary diseases'such as tuberculosis, silicosis and the like, can satisfactorily be made only by means of radioscopic studies of the subject's chest; and such studies are particularly desirable where the disease is inl an incipient stage. Thus,` it has been proposed to make radioscopic examinations of the chests of all school children whereby those showing any tendency towards tuberculosis may take such steps as are necessary to avoid or stop the development of the disease. Similarly, it has been proposed to subject all classes `of industrial workers in the so-called'silicotic industries to the same type of examination.- The latter is of particular importance not only to the individual workers, but likewise to employers and to insurers of the employers. While; both of these proposals are of inestimable importancefrom a humanitarian standpoint, the latter one presents certain definite economic problems to the employer and to his insurer. Thus,` silicosis,` unlike most diseases, is classiecl as an industrial hazard within the provisions of the Workmens Compensation Acts. Accordingly, the employer may be liable to an employee who has contracted the disease; and in order to determine his liability it is essential to know whether the disease was contracted before or after the employee entered his service. Thus, it is of prime importance for the employer to know the physical condition of his employees. The employers insurer is, of course,4 primarily interested in his contingent liability in order to enable him to establish proper insurance rates. Thus, he too, wishes to know the physical conditov of all of the'insureds employees.

While the need and desirability for such large scale studies have been well recognized, the cost thereof has been so great as to be prohibitive. The reasons for this Vhigh cost are to be found in one or more of the followingfactors. Generally speaking, the'groups of possible-subjects are situated at such Widely varying points as to make the use of a few permanent laboratories impracticable; and the quantity and cost of the necessary apparatus has precluded the establishment of large numbers of relatively small laboratories. Further, the actual time consumed inthe taking of radiographs, using equipment heretofore available, has been inordinately great, so great, in fact,

as to make it substantiallyimpossible ever to com-V plete such Va project even though it were once i y started; The present invention, in the main, proposes what, in elfect, may be termed a portable laboratory which may readily be transported about the country and easily set up at the location of a relatively small group, a factoryr employinga few hundred people, for example, whereby they may be radiographed, and thel resulting plates afterwards examinedby any available diagnostician. However, as will later be brought out, some of the particular features of the apparatus may be utilized to excellent advantage in permanent laboratories.

The principal object of the invention is to provide a holder for an X-ray sensitive member which is so .mounted as to beV readily accessible from within a dark room whereby itV may readily and easily be loaded or unloaded without `ex- Vposureto light, and at the same'time which is so located that a subject, not necessarily within the dark room, can be positioned adjacent the member and an X-ray shadow of his internal organs cast thereon.

It isfa'further object of the invention to s0 mountvthe holder for. the X-ray memberY that its vertical position may be changed to conform to the height of any given subject, and also so that it may be accessible to an operator in the dark room in order that the latter may load and unload the holder. Y l v Other objects and various features of the invention'will be more apparent from the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which--4 Figure 1 is a perspective view of a portable dark room having a holder for an X-ray sensitive Ymember located in one wall thereof in accordance-With the principles of the present ,invention; Y

Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken 2-2 of Fig. 1; Y

Fig. 3 is a sectional view taken on the line 3 3 of Fig. 1; Y

Fig. 4 is' a fragmentary view in section, and on an enlargedscale, of a portion of the X-ray holder shown in Fig'. 2;

Fig. 5-is va sectionalview, on an enlarged scale, of another fragment of the apparatus shown in Fig. 3;

on the line Fig. 6 is a plan view partly in sectionf of a amination, but by casting a shadow of the organ. upon an X-ray sensitive member and then studying the shadow. Thus, as is shown in Fig.` `9,` the patient I5 is interposed between asourceA of X- rays such as a Coolidge tubeIU, andan. X-ray,V

sensitive member I'I which may be a fiuorescent screen, photographic lm or the like, whereby' rays from the tube pass through the body of the patient in proportion to the density of the differf Obviously, the more dense` ent organs thereof. Y portions, such as the bones, the heart, calcic deposits, etc., resist the passage of vX-rays therethrough to a greater extent than do the less dense portions of the body, and hence they cast their shadows upon the X-ray sensitive member I1. A diagnostician, by examining the shadows, can tell whether variations thereof are the results of natural causes orare produced by disease.

It is of little moment whether the subject and theX-ray tube are located ina brightly lighted spaceor in a dark room. However, in so far as the X-ray sensitive member is concerned, this must be located in a darkened space. Thus, in fiuoroscopy, substantially all light must be excluded from the screen so that difference vin fluorescence thereof may be appreciable to the human eye. Similarly, Where radiographs are being made,-that is, the exposure of a photographic film or plate by X-.raya--it is obvious that all light must be excluded from the plate. In the latter instance the plate is usually mounted within a light-tight box, termed a cassette, which is made Yof a material permeable to X-rays but not to light. Thus, assuming that radiographs are being taken, the. cassette is loaded (a photographic lm is placed therein) in the dark room, brought out and exposed, and is then returned to the dark room for unloading and reloading. Obviously, the distance between the dark room and the point of exposure will, in

" large part, determine the length of timeA necessary to load the cassette, carry it to the exposure room, and return it for reloading. If there are a number of exposures to be made, .and the process is to be even fairly continuous, thenthere must be a relatively large number of cassettes available, and several assistants to perform the various functions. Since these cassettes are relatively expensive-costingabout $75.00 each at presentthen it is evident that the initial investment for even a very few of them will -run into considerable money; and it is further obvious that the number of assistants required will result in an unduly great operating cost. The present invention proposes to avoid the use. of more than one cassette by mounting the same vimmediately adjacent, and preferably as a constituent partrof, the wall of the dark room,wherebyV it may be accessible to an operator `in the room for the purpose of unloading and loading the same and whereby the subject may be positioned on the outside of the dark room, adjacent the cassette, and the X-ray exposure made.

Considering the drawings,referring, first, to Fig. 1,--the numeral I8 designates a relatively small cabinet having four Walls, a top, and a bottom,-a1l of which, preferably, are so hinged one to another that the cabinet may be folded up and easily transported. Further, the walls are so related that when in the set-up position shown in Fig. 1, they occupy a light-tight relationship one to the other. Access to the inside of the cabinet may behad through a suitable door I9 in one wall of the cabinet.

Since the cabinet is to be of a portable nature,

. .it is preferablyof very light construction. Consequently, such materials as plywood and dura- 'luminior other light alloys) are generously used,

even though other less expensive substances Lwould serve equally as well.

In keeping with the above outlined precept as to weightlimitations, the wall 20 as shown in the preferred embodiment (Fig. 3), comprises a relatively thin layer of lead 2|, or other comparably opaque material (when the term opaque is used it is to be understood to mean a material which is impervious both to light, to X-rays, andV to rays produced by any radioactive substance) whichis supported andrprotected on both sides by layers 22 of wood or thelike. An opening 23 extends vertically ofthe wall, and is provided along one oppositely disposed pair of its edges with duralumin channels 24; Disposed within this opening is a holder for an X-ray sensitiveV member, comprising a frame, generally designated 25, of substantially rectangular proportions and having laterally extending flanges 26 slidably disposed'within channels 24. In order to avoid any possibilityfof light passing between the surfaces of the channel and the surfaces of the flange 26, a strip of felt, or other comparable material '2'I is preferably interposed between the end of the flange and the bottom of the channel. lThe front end of the Yframe 25 is intended to serve as, an X-ray window, as will laterbe apparent, and accordingly is covered with an appropriately Vshaped piece of Bakelite 28, or other comparable material. Such a material, for purposes herein considered, may be termed Serniopaque, and where this term is Vused it is to `be understood to mean any substance which is penetrable by X-rays or the like but is impervious to light. The remaining parts of the opening 23 are covered by a curtain 29 which is preferably made of an opaque material. In the preferred ernbodiment thisV curtain comprises two pieces of ilexible lead-rubber fabric. The lower of these pieces 29a is attached, as shown inV Fig. 2, to the vertically extending flange 30a (formed along the bottom edge of the frame 25) and extends downwardly, beyond the edge 3l of the wall defining the lower endfof the opening 23. The weight of the fabric, in the preferred embodiment, is sufficient to hold it firmly against the felt pad 32 (along the lower edge 3|) and thereby to maintain a light-tight joint between the curtain and the edgeof the wall. The upper part of the curtain, 29h, is comparably vattached to the fiange 30h and extends upwardly beyond the edge dening the upper end ofthe opening 23. Lighttight relationship between the curtain and the upper edge of the opening is secured by passing the curtain over an appropriate pad of felt 33. The upper end of the curtain is passed over the roller 34 which extends across the cabinet near the ceiling thereof.V In the preferred form this roller is of the well known spring type, and is, in constructional details, Very similar to well known shade rollers. Thus, the spring of the roller Y(not shown) is adapted to counterbalance the weight of the holder and of the curtain.

While this form has certain advantages the curtain 29h, if desired, may be passed `over the roller 34, and anextension thereof (shown in dotted lines) attached either to a counterweight 35ar or to a well known spring'35b. i l

Considering Fig. 3,- it will be noted that a strip of lead 36 is applied tothe rear of wall 20 along the channel portion thereof, and that a marginal strip 3l of the same material is interposed between the front edge frame 25 and the cover 2S. Each of these strips, as can be seen, overlaps another. Thus, 36 overlaps 2|, and 3l overlaps 36. Likewise, the marginal strip 36 'overlaps the edges of the opaque screen v29 (see Fig. 2). Thus, the only point at which X-rays may penetrate the wall 20 is through that portion of the cover 28 defined by the edges of the marginal strip 31,l and .this portion, or area, will hereinafter be referred to as the window 38 in the wall or curtain.

With the foregoing construction in mind it will be apparent that the holder may be moved up and down in the opening 23, and the X-ray window accordingly moved with respect to the wall. Thus, the window may be adjusted to conform to the height of any particular subject to be studied. At the same time the flexible curtain and the flanges 26 effectively preclude the entrance of light into the cabinet I8.

The holder, generally designated 39, is adapted to receive, on the dark room side thereof, an X-ray sensitive member which, for example, may be either a photographic film or plate, a fluorescent screen, or the like. When the former is to be used, a cassette 40 is placed within the holder, and held therein by any appropriate means. The cassette comprises, as may be seen particularly in Figs. 3 and 4, a marginal frame portion 4l having a. front cover 42 of Bakelite, or other comparable material, immediately behind which is a front intensifying screen 43; and a back 44 hingedly aflixed to the frame 4l,

upon the front surface of which are superposed,

successively, a sheet of lead 45, a. cushion of felt 46, and a back intensifying screen 41. At this point it may be noted that the marginal strip 3l extends inwardly so as to overlap the layer 45 on the back of the cassette. Thus, the various strips of lead are all disposed in overlapping relationship so as to preclude the passage of X-ray radiations substantially beyond the iilm 48 and into the cabinet I8. When the hinged back is opened a sheet of photographically sensitive material may be inserted between the two intensifying screens, and when the backvis closed these screens should be pressed in a tight relationship with the surfaces of the material, as is clearly shown in Fig. 4. The opening and -closing of the back of the cassette for the purposes of loading and unloading the same may be accomplished in a most rapid manner by the use of a toggle mechanism, shown particularly in Figs. 2 and 3. This mechanism comprises a pair of brackets 49 affixed to the side edges of the cassette 40 and extending rearwardly therefrom.V The rear -ex-A tremity of each of the brackets is provided with bearing portions 50 which are adapted to accommodate the opposite end portions of a rock shaft One or more toggle mechanisms 52 are interposed between the shaft 5I and the back V44 of the cassette whereby when the shaft is rocked, as for example, by means of the handle53, the toggles may be broken and thefback accordingly opened. The toggles may be of any well known design, comprising, forexample, a. link .54 rigidly attached at one of its ends to the shaft 5l, and atthe other of its ends pivotally connected to one end of a second link 55.v The forward end ,of the second link is pivotally Aattached toa leaf spring 56, and the latter is slidably engaged by a clip on theback of the cassette as shown in Fig. 3. Suitable stop elements are, of course, provided for the purpose of limiting the movement of the links Y54 Vand 55 in at least one direction. f Y

Assuming that the cassette 40 is mounted within the holder 24 as shown in Fig. 2, and that the latter has been adjusted to conform to the height of a patientwhose chest isto be examined, it'is evident that the excitation of an appropriately placed X-ray tube will direct a stream of X-rays through the patients body through thewindow portion 38 of theV Bakelite cover 28, and will produce a shadow of vhis internal organs upon'the film 48.

. In this connection it will be noted that-in the preferred embodiment (Figs. 1, Zand 3) the holder frame extends forwardly from the Wall 20. a patient may be positionedV directly against the cover 2B of the holder without causing any physical discomfort. This is particularly desirable when chest exposures are being made for, in that case, the holder will pass under the subjects chin and avoid requiring him to tilt his head back into an unnatural position.

The particular features of the device so far described may best be understood by considering one practical problem. Assume, for example, the existence of a cement plant located in a small town having no X-ray laboratory and employing three hundred workmen. The employer, and his insurer, wish to know, for reasonspreviously brought out, the physical condition of their employees. Obviously, they could not afford to purchase the equipment necessary to establish an X-ray laboratory, nor could they afford to maintain such. Thus, heretofore, they were precluded from gaining this very necessary knowledge. However, with the present invention, the cabinet I8 can readily be shipped to the plant, set up in a very few minutes, and the employees lined up for examination. The radiologist, an employee of the company owning the cabinet, would, of course, assume a position on the outside of the cabinet and have his X-ray tube appropriately set up adjacent thereto. The first of the subjects would then step in front of the cabinet. The radiologist would immediately, and from the outside of the cabinet, adjust the height of the X-ray aperture to the height of the subject, and then excite the X-ray tube. Obviously, the X-rays will pass through the subjects body through the window 38 and expose the lm 48. Immediately an assistant located on the inside of the cabinet, constituting the dark room, upon receiving an appropriate signal, would open the cassette, remove the exposed film, insert a new one therein, close the cassette, and si-gnal the radiologist. In the meantime the latter will have changed the position of the subject for a second exposure, or have placed a second subject in front of the windowyand, upon receiving his assistants signal indicating that the cassette had been reloaded, will again excite the X-ray apparatus and'make another exposure. The total time` necessary for making any on'e exposure with an apparatus such as hereinbefore described has in `practice'been found to be less than' thirty seconds. Thus, assuming that only one V,exposure is to be made of each of the 300 employees, `it is` apparent that the entire job can `be done in 150 minutes, representing a total expenditure of time of 2% hours. When the exposures have all` been made, the radiologist and his assistant can -then immediately develop the films, and the latter can thereafter be analyzed by any competent diagnostician.

At this point it may be well again to note that the assistant located within the dark room is completely protected from the eifects of the X-rays. Each po-rtion of `the front surface of the wall, except for the window, is completely protected by a layer of lead or other opaque material, and the rear of the cassette is likewise protected, so that there is no single point at which the X-rays can get through the front wall beyond the film and to the person located within the cabinet. The thickness of the various layers of lead and their location are, in accordance with Well-known practice, such as to absorb substantially all X-ray radiation, whether it be Ofdirect or of secondary origin.

Obviously, the rapid production of radiographs with this apparatus reduces the cost thereof. Further, it will be at once apparent that this particular apparatus requires the use of only one cassette, and since, as was hereinbefore pointed out, these elements are relatively costly, it is quite evident that the initial cost of this apparatus is a great deal less than would otherwise be necessary.

Occasionally it is desirable, even in large scale work, to make a fluoroscopic examination of the subjects chest before radiographs are taken. In such instance the present apparatus lends itself very Well to such a procedure, as may be seen in Figs. 2 and 3. Thus, the cassette 40 may be hinged, as at 5l, on one side of the holder and when it is swung out of position the fluorescent screen 53, suitably hinged as at 59 to the other side of the frame, may be swung in place. Appropriate frictional locking means, as shown in Fig. 5, are provided for holding either the screen or cassette in their proper relationship to the holder. When the screen is in place and the X-ray tube excited, a physician, radiologist, or his assistant, any one of whom may be located within the cabinet, can then study the shadow on the screen and decide at what angles, and at what X-ray energy, radiographs are to be made.

The hinged arrangement shown in Fig. 3 may also be used where it is desirable to further reduce the time between exposures. Thus, if desired, a second cassette 40a, indicated in dotted lines, may be substituted for the fluorescent screen 58. In such event, while one cassette screen is being exposed, the other may be reloaded. Usually, however, the time saved will be of no particular importance, except in cases where it is desired to make two exposures of the same subjects chest taken from slightly diiferent angles in order to produce a stereoscopic effect.

In the latter instance the two exposures must be made at Very short time intervals, and it is not feasible to wait for reloading a single cassette. Hence, this structure may then be used to excellent advantage.

While, as is shownin Figs. l, 2, and 3, the front wall 20 of the cabinet is provided with a holder into whichra cassette may be 'mounted, it is quite evident that, as shown in Fig. 6the cassette itself may be set directly into the opening 23. In such instance the opposite edges of the cassette would be provided with appropriate anglesY 26a adapted lto fit within the channels 24a, the curtain being xed 'to the top and bottom .edges thereof in substantially themanlner hereinbefore described; and the front cover d2 of the cassette would then serve'as the X-ray Window.' Similarly, if desired, the construction of theapparatus may be such as to avoid the use 'of-an actual opening 23 in the front wall 2B. In this modification (Figs. 7 and 8) that portion 23h of the wall 20h, corresponding in area to the opening 23 in the wall 20 of Fig. 1, is made of a semi-opaque material whereby it may serve as an X-ray Window in the Wall, and the cassette 4Gb is slidably mounted on the inner side of the wall and immediately behind the'window. A curtain 29e, comparable to curtain 29 of Fig. 1, is afxed to the upper and lower edges of the cassette (or its holder) and -extends upwardly and downwardly therefrom so as to cover all parts of the X-ray window except that `occupied by the cassette. Hence, With this Vmodiiied structure the cassette may still Vbe adjusted vertically vof* the wall, and it may be loaded, or unloaded, from within the dark room. Further, the curtain, and appropriate strips of lead, effectively exclude light or X-rays from the occupied portion of the dark room.

While the invention has hereinbefore been considered in connection principally with a portable darkroom, it is quite evident that an element made in--accordancewith the description of the front wall 20 could be utilized to serve as a wall of the wark room in .a permanent laboratory. In such instance all ofthe advantages of speed in taking the radiographs, and of reduction of initial investment would be achieved.

Since certain changes which are within the skill of an ordinary mechanic may be made in the embodiment of the invention, it is intended that the foregoing shall be construed in a descriptive rather than in a limiting sense.

What I claim is:

,1. In an X-ray device of the character described, an element which is adapted to serve as a wall o f a dark room, said wall being substantially opaqueand having edge portions dening a vertically extending opening therein, a pair of channels extending along the vertically disposed edge portions of the opening; a holder disposed within said opening comprising a frame member having iiange portions which are adapted to slide in said channels and other portions dening a recess accessible only from the dark room side of the wall and adapted toreceive an X-ray sensitive film, and a front cover `for said frame which is made of semi-opaque material whereby it may serve as an X-ray Window; and a curtain of opaque material ailixed to said frame, .said curtain having its side edge slidably disposed within said channels and its opposite ends extending in light-tight relation over and beyond the upper and lower edges defining the opening in the Wall whereby the holder may be adjusted vertically of said opening.

2. A portable Idark room and holder for an X-ray sensitive member comprising, a cabinet capable of accommodating an operator and having an opaque front wall with top, bottom and side edges deiining a vertically extending opening'therein; a holder comprising a frame having marginal portions slidably engaging the vertical edges of a Wall opening, other portions deiining -a cassette receiving recess accessible from the rear side of the wall, and a cover disposed over the front end of such frame made of semiopaque material whereby it may serve as an X-ray Window; a curtain of exible, opaque material attached to said frame with its side edges slidably disposed with respect to the side edges of the opening and with its end portions extending beyond and in light-tight relation with the top and bottom edges of said opening; and a cassette disposed Within the recess of said holder and accessible only from the rear, dark room side of the Wall.

3. 'I'he combination with a wall of a dark room in accordance with claim 2, further characterized in that the cassette has a hinged back portion so that it may be readily and rapidly opened from the rear side of the wall to permit a film to be inserted therein or Withdrawn therefrom.

4. In combination with a holder adapted tobe mounted in a supporting wall comprising a part of a dark room, said holder comprising a frame having flange portions of such dimensions as to of a dark room, said holder comprising a frame having ange portions of such dimensions as to be capable of extending through such Wall fromV the dark to the light side thereof, and a cover of semi-opaque material attached to the front ends of such anges so as to define a cassette receiving recess immediately therebehind and on the dark room side; of a pair of cassettes each hinged to an opposite side of such frame so as to be capable of being swung into such recess with its front surface disposed adjacent and parallel to said semi-opaque cover; and means on said frame for frictionally engaging the free end of the one of the cassettes disposed Within such recess.

6. In a cabinet which is adapted to serve as a dark room, an opaque front Wall having edge portions defining a vertically extending opening therein, a pair of channels' extending along the vertically disposed edges of the opening, a pair of pads afxed to the rear surface of the Wall along the horizontally disposed edges defining the opening, a holder having a semi-opaque X-ray Window slidably mounted in light-tight relation with said channels, a flexible curtain of opaque material afxed to the top and bottom edges of the holder with its side edges disposed in the channels and with its ends extending over said pads so as to exclude light from the cabinet, and counterbalancing means for supporting said curtain and said window.

7. A portable dark room and holder for an X-ray member comprising a cabinet capable of accommodating an operator and having an opaque front Wall with edge portions dening a vertically extending opening therein, channels formed along the side edges of said opening, and pads aflixed to the rear surface of the wall along the top and bottom edges of the opening; a holder for an X-ray sensitive member comprising a rectangular frame disposed within said opening with its rear end open to the side of the cabinet, and having ange portions slidably disposed in lighttight relation within said channels, and a semiopaque cover disposed over the front end of said frame; a exible curtain of opaque material affixed to the top and bottom edges of the holder frame with its side edges slidably engaging said channels in light-tight relation and its ends extending over said pads in light-tight relation with the top and bottom edges of the opening; and counterbalancing means for supporting the Weight of said curtain and said holder.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2718598 *Mar 10, 1953Sep 20, 1955Herbert GrafDiagnostic x-ray apparatus
US2813201 *Aug 29, 1951Nov 12, 1957Albert WiebeX-ray inspection apparatus
US4852141 *Aug 3, 1987Jul 25, 1989Grumman Aerospace CorporationPortable X-ray collimator and scatter shield
U.S. Classification378/174, 378/41, 378/181, 250/519.1, 976/DIG.335
International ClassificationG21F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationG21F3/00
European ClassificationG21F3/00