National Radiology Day (November 8th) A History of X-Ray Vision Eyewear

1
82

International Day of Radiology is November 8th. We are celebrating this phenomenal day with a X-Ray Vision Post. X-rays were discovered in 1895 by  German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen while working in his laboratory in Würzburg. Like so many other inventions, it was accidentally discovered. He also received the first Nobel prize for physics in 1901 for his discovery of X-rays. 

Think about how xrays have enhanced out lives, from astrology to medical treatments to airports and even food safety. You probably use X-Rays (retinal scans) in eye health.

The first X-ray eyewear I could find seems to be round 1940’s as a gag gift. The first were just a novelty item made with cardboard with an X-Ray.

‘X-ray glasses do not actually allow the user to see through objects. They are constructed of a plastic frame with lenses of heavy cardboard. In the center of each lens, small holes about 0.25 in (0.64 cm) in diameter are punched out. Feathers that create a polarizing effect cover the holes. When looking through the hole, objects appear to have a transparent outline and a solid center. This effect creates the illusion of x-ray vision. The prankster then uses the glasses and pretends to be able to see through things like walls, clothes, and other objects.

 X-Ray Eyewear Trivia:
  • The principle behind the illusion was first patented in 1909 by Fred J. Wiedenbeck (Patent #914904)
  • X-Ray Specs were improved (Patent# 3592533) by Harold von Braunhut, also the inventor of Amazing Sea-Monkeys.
  • A previous product called the Wonder Tube worked in a similar way. Instead of glasses, the device was in the form of a small telescope.
  • Their name was used as the inspiration for the UK punk band The X-Ray Spex.
  • Among the best known figures with “x-ray vision” are the fictional SupermanSamus Aran, and the protagonist of the 1963 film X.
1909
1909

x-ray-vintage=

X-ray-vintage-ad

X-ray-specs-vintage

This man has x-ray eyes.
This man has x-ray eyes. August 1949
X-ray-superman- joke
Superman was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, high school students living in Cleveland, Ohio, in1933; the character was sold to Detective Comics, Inc. (later DC Comics) in 1938. Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938) (Wikipedia)
Superwoman first appearance was in 1947
Superwoman first appearance was in 1947
1961 Wearing X-Ray Spec
1961 Wearing X-Ray Spec

X-ray-man

Pee Wee Herman Wearing X-Ray specs.  Image credit: unknown
Pee Wee Herman Wearing X-Ray specs.
Image credit: unknown

2011- These Social X-Ray glasses are under development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. You wear them when talking to people and they let you know if the person is really interested in what you have to say.

Social E-Ray Glasses
Social E-Ray Glasses

Anyone can become a super hero with this X-Ray Vision stuff from Brooklyn Superhero supply company.

X-Ray Vision by Brooklyn Super Hero
X-Ray Vision by Brooklyn Super Hero
2012 Jeremy Scott x Linda Farrow X-Ray Eyewear
2012 Jeremy Scott x Linda Farrow X-Ray Eyewear
Volt Cafe Magazine. Glass by Chinatown London
Volt Cafe Magazine. Glass by Chinatown London

Not to be outdone

 

X-Ray Eyeball by Jack Kerual
X-Ray Eyeball by Jack Kerual

Ever seen an x-Ray Tattoo?

xray

You can still buy them today on Amazon

X-Ray-specs

Resources

How X-Ray Eyewear is Made

 

 

1 COMMENT

Comments are closed.