Heat and X-Ray Collection

Welcome to the heat and X-ray collection at Aberystwyth University Physics Museum. X-rays were studied extensively in the early days of the University and a lot of that equipment now resides in this museum. 

This collection is split into two sections:





Circa 1885

This boiler was used in the physics laboratory to provide steam for a coefficient of expansion of brass experiment up until 1950.




Davy Lamp 1835

Circa 1835

These lamps were designed to be used safely in flammable environments. This lamp dates from before 1839 as glass was used in the design after that. 









Davy Lamp 1882

Circa 1881

This Davy lamp dates from before 1882 as after this date, a metal bonnet as placed over the gauze.






Specific Heat Device

U. C. W. Workshop. 1900

This is an elaborate device consisting of two electrically heated gilt calorimeters with mechanical stirrers and was previously used to determine the specific heat of substances.















A collection of thermometers, in case with a variety of scales and ranges. Used to measure temperature.



Thermometer No. 4041




By Gerhardt of Bonn. 1897

This Jena glass thermometer is in a leather case with a 0-55 °C range scale.





Andrew Rapid X-Ray Tube










Circa 1915

An X-ray tube on a wooden base by Andrew Rapid, labelled Mammoth. Dating from around 1915. X-ray tubes convert electrical signals into x-rays.


X-Ray Photographs









Circa 1900-1910

Two boxes of ½-plate X-ray photographs of university staff, buildings and rooms all taken between 1900 and 1910. Some were taken with a Bottone Wimshurst machine and some with a coil.

Bottone Wimshurst machine

Circa 1900-1910
Used to take X-ray photographs of various things it comes with it's own leyden jars. The machine is mostly intact however it  does not rotate as the leather belts are damaged as is one of the metal cross bars.


Four Electrode X-Ray Tube








Circa 1895

This is a very early X-ray tube with no focusing. Unusually it has four electrodes.


Herbert Jackson’s Focusing X-Ray Tube







Circa 1896

The concave cathode on this device focused the electrons onto the target. This piece used two electrodes.


Small X-Ray Tube

Circa 1900


This small X-ray tube uses a focusing cathode and two electrodes.






Small Pair of X-Ray Tubes












Circa 1900

This pair of small X-ray tubes each use three electrodes and a focusing cathode.


Cox’s Record No. 59688 X-Ray Tube








By Becker. 1910

This early 20th century X-ray tube is from Becker’s catalogue and uses an anode with rim to achieve “sharper definition”.


Original Müller Röntgen Röhre No. 65783 X-Ray Tube









Circa 1920

This X-ray tube uses a vacuum regulator and is labelled “Good Jany. 1931” by Prof. G. Owen.


Copper Anode X-Ray Tube No. 5955








Circa 1925

An X-ray tube with a vacuum regulator and a heavy copper anode in order to dissipate heat within the tube. Labelled in the hand of Prof. G. Owen.


Coolidge X-Ray Tube A 1211






By B. T. H. 1930

This 20th century tube has very thick glass, radiating fins, a filament cathode and an anode.


Original Müller X-Ray Tube No. 96072









Made in England, this X-ray tube uses a vacuum regulator.


X-Ray Tube Housing Serial No. 14393









By Machlett X-Ray Tubes Ltd.

X-ray Tube housing’s allow precise mounting of tubes while also shielding the user from the radiation that is emitted.