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RONTGEN, Wilhelm. ‘On A New Form of Radiation' [first communication] WITH: Wilhelm Rontgen. ‘On A New Form of Radiation' [second communication] IN: The Electrician: A Weekly Illustrated Journal of Electrical Engineering, Industry and Science, Volume XXXVI. From November 1, 895 to April 24, 1896.
London: George Tucker, 1896. With the bookplate of Sir David Lionel-Goldsmid-Stern-Salomons. Bound volume. Tall 4to., contemporary half brown morocco, cloth, raised bands, gilt compartments, (12), 876pp. double columns. Some minor rubbing to the foot of the spine and corners o/w a fine copy of this important work with an interesting provenance. See Garrison & Morton 2683 PMM 380, Grolier Medicine 83A and Norman 1841 all citing the German edition.
Rontgen observed while ‘performing experiments with a type of cathode-ray tube at the ends with platinum terminals, that some agent produced in the tube was causing barium platinocyanide crystals to flouresce, the fluorescence proceeding from the spot where cathode rays hit the wall of the vacuum tube.' He announced the discovery in a paper published in 1895 in an obscure German medical journal. A second paper, reporting that ‘x- rays make air conductive, and describing innovations in equipment', followed in March 1896. News of the discovery at first known as ‘Rontgen Rays' (later x-rays) spread quickly. As a result of his work and discovery, Rontgen was awarded the first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901. On January 23rd, the first English edition of Rontgen's paper on the discovery of x-rays appeared in the journal Nature. The following day, January 24th, a second English translation appeared in the journal The Electrician pages 415-417(offered here). The first English translation of Rontgen's second communication was published in this same volume of The Electrician ,pages 850-851. This bound volume also contains the early (first?) use of the term x-ray in English (p 668) as well as a letter by G.M. Minchin on ‘Rontgen Rays' (pp.736) and other important material relating to electricity, atomic charges and cathode rays. David Lionel Goldsmid-Stern-Salomons (1851-1925) English barrister and scientific author, who succeeded his uncle as baronet in 1873. Salomons became interested in electricity at an early age and when he inherited his uncle's house, Bromhill in Tunbridge Wells, he set up ‘large laboratories and workshops where he investigated electromotive force and electric conductors. He carried out countless experiments and took out patents for various types of electrical equipment. Vice-president of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, lecturer at the Royal Institution, he was also the author of several scientific works including Electric Light Installation (1893).