Material relating to John W. L. Spence
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Biographical / Historical
After an earlier association with Wilhelm Roentgen (discoverer of X-rays, 1895), radiology became his speciality, first as an assistant in the new electrical department at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, then, from 1907, as head of the electrical and radiological department of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for Sick Children where he remained for 22 years.
Because of the lack of protection available in these early years of working with X-rays - and indeed lack of understanding of the damage that they could do - Spence soon showed signs of illness and damage and between 1910 and 1916 he had to undergo amputations. In 1922 he was awarded a bronze medal by the Carnegie Hero Fund with an annuity of £130 in recognition of his work in radiology. A few years after his death his name was inscribed on a memorial erected in the garden of St. George's Hospital in Hamburg (April 1936) by the German Roentgen Society to honour those X-ray pioneers who had sacrificed their health or their lives in the interests of their work.
John Webster Lowson Spence died in Edinburgh on 15 March 1930, aged only 58.
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- Material relating to John Webster Lowson Spence (1871-1930)