Image of Nuclear Medicine Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear Medicine, Robley Evans, 1930s

As a graduate student at Caltech, Robley Evans worked with local health officers investigating the dangers of patent medicines based on radium. While a professor at MIT in the 1930s, he tested former radium workers and carefully investigated the studies of factory workers who had dotted watch dials with glow-in-the dark radium paint. At the MIT Radioactivity Center, he developed instruments for determining radiation counts and established the guidelines for allowable radiation exposure. Evans also was the first to use radioiodine to evaluate thyroid function. He is considered one of the founders of nuclear medicine.

Some of these beautifully hand-blown glass instruments and experimental setups remain in the MIT Museum’s collection of artifacts from the Radioactivity Center. Other pieces from the center document the history of radium in consumer products including the glow-in-the-dark snow globe on display, a beautiful painting enhanced with “$40 worth of radium to give off rays for 1700 years,” and a few of the famous watch dials.

No comments, please add one below
RSS icon