July 28, 2015 — The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) has opened the ASRT Museum and Archives, a 4,500-square-foot museum devoted to collecting, preserving and sharing the radiologic technology profession's rich history.
The result of three years of planning and preparation, the museum mirrors the high-tech, high-touch nature of medical imaging and radiation therapy. It features state-of-the art exhibits and interactive displays that showcase the profession’s past, present and future.
Within the walls of the museum are a mix of touch tables, video screens and hands-on exhibits. The touch screens allow visitors to interact with digital media and see the profession in a different light. The videos focus on historical highlights ranging from Thomas Edison’s experiments with fluoroscopy to battlefield radiography during World War II, and the hands-on exhibits allow visitors to touch and feel history. Activities that visitors can participate in include:
- Dressing up in replicas of vintage radiation protection apparel, including lead-lined leather aprons and “bucket” head gear;
- Trying to beat the clock by assembling a scale-model replica of a World War II portable X-ray unit in less than 8 minutes, which was the expectation for radiographers serving in medical field units in the U.S. Army; and
- Interacting with four touch tables that allow viewers to peek inside digital copies of historical books and manuscripts, learn about the profession’s leaders and build a collage of the human body out of assorted medical images.
In addition to the interactive components, a number of pieces of vintage equipment are on display, including a Picker fluoroscopy unit, a 1935 GE portable “suitcase model” X-ray unit and a military field X-ray unit from World War II. More than 300 artifacts are on display.
The museum also honors some of the profession’s pioneers. Special attention is given to Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, the physicist who discovered the X-ray in 1895; two-time Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie, who conducted groundbreaking research on radioactivity; and Ed Jerman, founder of the American Association of Radiological Technicians, the precursor to the ASRT.
For more information: www.asrt.org