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Fauldings & early x-rays in SA

The following picture of a medal struck in 1996 commemorates the hundredth anniversary of X .rays in South Australia . According to the reproduced letter, the first X. ray photographs of objects were produced by Fauldings, but it required the more powerful induction coil of professor Bragg to actually produce a clinical radiograph.


The medal commemorating 100 years of x. Rays in South Australia


During a visit to Adelaide in 2007 this medal was presented by Lady Margaret Heath, the daughter of Sir Lawrence Bragg, to Michael Patkin FRACS, FRCS, whose elder daughter Drusilla had married her cousin-in-law's son Will. The medal is now in the possession of the Society


Unsigned copy of letter from L. Scammell dated 30.9.1931 to Dr. Arthur Lendon detailing Faulding’s role in the production of the first x-ray photographs in South Australia


Transcription of the letter

Dr. Alfred Lendon,
       66 Brougham Place ,
              NORTH ADELAIDE .

Dear Doctor -

                                    During the first half of the year 1895 Mr. Samuel Barbour, one of our chemists, obtained leave to visit England, and travelled via U.S. A. He had been brought up with Reynolds & Branson, of Leeds, which Firm he visited on arrival there. He was interested in experiment they were making with Hertzian Waves, and saw some of the first X-Ray pictures takin [sic] in England . He then cabled to Faulding & Co. for permission to buy the necessary apparatus for producing X-Ray photographs. We instructed him to purchase, and he brought the apparatus with him, and began taking the photographs in October 1896. I believe these were the first pictures ever taken in Australia .

                        They were then shown to Professor Bragg at the University, and were exhibited in the pharmacist’s windows in the Town. The University possessed a stronger
coil than the one Faulding's had purchased. Bragg had married Gwendoline Todd, daughter of Sir Charles Todd, FRS, Postmaster General and Government Astronomer of South Australia, who had provided the stronger coil. Professor Bragg was able to demonstrate the value of x-rays before members of the medical profession. He lectured on X-Ray Photography in June 1897, when Faulding's Roentgen films were shown.

                                        Mr, Samuel Barbour, who is at present engaged by Felton, Grimwade & Pickford, of Perth, will he able to confirm this statement, and Mr. W. T. Rowe, of the Government Analysts' Department (a late assistant of Faulding's) who worked with Mr. Barbour and developed the photographs, will probably have more information than I can give. Mr. Barbour left this Firm’s service, and took rooms in Gawler Chambers, where he undertook X-hay photography for the medical profession.

                               I have no doubt Professor Bragg's lecture was published in the "Register" in June 1897, and perhaps in the "Advertiser".

Yours faithfully,


I believe Mr. Barbour was the first man in
Australia to take X-Ray pictures. Faulding's
the first Firm to show the negatives and
prints from them.