Protection specialist reflects on 160 years of progress and looks forward to future innovation

X-ray protection and imaging accessories company Rothband started up 160 years ago in the Manchester home of W S Rothband himself, manufacturing small make-up/sponge bags from waterproof cloth that was “guaranteed not to crack.”

By 1900 WSRM trademarked rubber sheeting for bed protection was the mainstay of the business and, according to the company’s archives, was sold all over the world to “institutions for the poor, sanitaria, lunatic asylums, delinquents’ schools” and many hospitals in the UK.

Following the discovery of x-rays in 1895, a family member trained in chemistry suggested the addition of lead powder to the rubber mix and the company’s x-ray cloth was born. This discovery led to the development of Rothband leaded gloves and a range of aprons including double-sided, coat style, closed-side and theatre, which contributed greatly to the field of radiology safety.

Picture: The earliest surviving sales literature, dated January 28, 1911, featured the “proof” radiograph.

See the full report on page 32 of the September 2020 issue of RAD Magazine.

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