New X-ray treatment room in the NKI

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Control room for three treatment units.

The radiology department is situated in the new extension in the garden of the main building. In 1929, the radiologist has the use of a large radiation treatment room in which 3 X-ray treatment machines are placed next to each other.  This situation will continue until after the second World War.

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1929 Radiation room with three treatment units ( 2 units visible) in the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Sarphatistraat 106.

The photo was taken on the occasion of the official opening. All the equipment which was available, is displayed, including items which were no longer in use. On the table on the left, there is a collection of old X-ray tubes, some of which have an explanatory text card. On the table on the right, there are various pieces of other equipment; among other things a portable Philips Metalix stand for radiodiagnostics, a Ruhmkorf high voltage inductor and a spark gap. The radiation machines in the middle are of the newest type from Philips.  The ceiling stand is a recent innovation by the manufacturer Philips-Muller from Hamburg.

Patients were simultaneously irradiated and thereby exposed to scatter and leak radiation from the other machines. The necessary high voltage of around 200,000 Volt is generated in a separate room which is visible at the far end of the radiation room.  The high voltage and filament supply are distributed to the X-ray tubes through uninsulated power lines which run across the ceiling. Metal wires from auto reeling pulleys are hooked from the powerlines to  the electrodes of the X-ray tubes.

Detail of the large photo: 

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The X-ray tubes in the two stands seen here are of the new Metalix type from Philips-Muller. Above right is the cooling water reservoir.  The front Metalix tube suspension is provided with metal shielding which shields the patient from the X-rays and the high voltage. This X-ray tube has a glass cooling water reservoir which is connected to the anode.

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Philips Metalix therapy tube, Philips Museum 2008.

Technical support. The radiation therapy department becomes more dependent on complex equipment. In-house technicians are involved with maintenance and adjustment of the equipment, and with the development of new techniques. In 1930 the first assistant instrument maker is engaged in the Netherlands Cancer institute, Mr. M.J. Bergström. An instrument workshop is also set up.