Wimshurst Machine

Joseph Bento joseph at kirtland.com
Sun Oct 3 13:35:59 CDT 2010

On Oct 3, 2010, at 10:15 AM, Richard O'Neill wrote:

> " I'm trying to gather information through web sources as to the dangers of operating static machines ..."
> Decades ago I knew a very old doctor who had, in his earlier days, used a Wimshurst machine to power his newly invented device, an X-Ray tube. When I met the doctor he was in his 80's or 90's. What man of medicine from that time could resist an easy view of one's innards?

I had read that was one of the uses for the Wimshurst machine.  The Alfred Morgan books - ie 'The Boy Electrician' show how to use an induction coil to power an x-ray tube and a fluoroscope to view the bones in the hand, etc.  I'm sure that little was known of the dangers of x-ray radiation at the time the book was published.

While I have no desire to play with antique x-ray tubes, there is excitement in creating big sparks (within reason) and the smell of ozone.  

I saw one YouTube video of someone that made a Leyden Jar out of a 5-gallon bucket, charged by a Wimshurst machine.  According to description, (and looks of the video) the discharge was deafening, and most certainly deadly.  Though impressive to see, I'll refrain from foolish experiments like this as well.

Joe, N6DGY

More information about the Tacos mailing list