William D. Coolidge, American physicist

William D. Coolidge, American physicist

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: William David Coolidge (1873-1975), American physicist. After studying and teaching in America and Germany, Coolidge began working for the General Electric Company. He discovered how to make tungsten ductile, which meant it could be used for light bulb filaments. In 1913 he invented the Coolidge tube, a cathode tube improved by the use of a tungsten filament. This proved a major advance in the sensitivity of X-ray machines. This image is from the Bain News Service, one of America's oldest news picture agencies, which holds images dating from the 1890s to the 1930s.

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