Henry Green

Status: Current

1860-1914: inventor, electrician, pioneer roentgenologist; born 1860, Birmingham England; moved to Hartford, 1888; worked in incandescent lamps, ca.1890-1896; organized Green Electric Lamp Company; researched and experimented with x-rays, 1896-1914; organized Green & Bauer; died March 4, 1914, in Hartford, CT.


List of patents
United States Patent Office, "Advertising Device," Patent No. 576,266, February 2, 1897.
United States Patent Office, "Anode for X-ray Tubes," Patent No. 1,002,390, September 5, 1911.
United States Patent Office, "Apparatus for Canceling Postal Marks," Patent No. 574,414, January 5, 1897.
United States Patent Office, "Electric Searing Pen," Patent No. 597,373, January 11, 1898.
United States Patent Office, "Incandescent Electric Lamp," Patent No. 475,394.
United States Patent Office, "Incandescent Electric Lamp," Patent No. 479,360, July 19, 1892.
United States Patent Office, "Incandescent Electric Lamp," Patent No. 510,018, December 5, 1893.
United States Patent Office, "Incandescent Lamp," Patent No. 495,467, April 11, 1893.
United States Patent Office, "Incandescent Lamp," Patent No. 547,249, October 1, 1895.
United States Patent Office, "Incandescent Lamp," Patent No. 553,673, January 28, 1896.
United States Patent Office, "Spirit Level," Patent No. 438,541, October 14, 1890.
United States Patent Office, "Spirit Level," Patent No. 449,609, March 31, 1891.
United States Patent Office, "Spirit Level," Patent No. 450,457, April 14, 1891.
United States Patent Office, "Vacuum Tube," Patent No. 1,068,426, July 29, 1913.
United States Patent Office, "X-Ray Apparatus," Patent No. 607,233, July 12, 1898.
United States Patent Office, "X-Ray Tube," Patent No. 958,488, May 17, 1910.
United States Patent Office, "X-Ray Tube," Patent No. 1,042,109, October 22, 1912.

50 Ashley Street - The Henry Green House

50 Ashley Street - The Henry Green House
Home to Henry Green and his family; constructed wooden laboratory at rear of property, May 1896.


Cost of building

Death by X-ray

Henry Green died at his home, 50 Ashley Street, on March 4, 1914. The cause of death was liver cancer caused by exposure to x-rays. Green’s funeral was held at his house on March 6, 1914, and it was officiated by Ernest deF. Miel, the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church. Green was then moved to Spring Grove Cemetery, where he was buried later in the year. The etching on the family headstone reads: "Henry Green Pioneer in the Development of the X-Ray"Spring Grove Cemetery.


Framing Events

November 5, 1895: Wilhelm Roentgen discovers x-rays: It all began for Henry Green – and quite a few other people in Hartford, in the US, and around the world – on November 5, 1895, when William Roentgen discovered x-rays, except that it really didn’t. Roentgen didn’t make his discovery public immediately. He first published his findings in the Proceedings of the Wurzburg Physico-Medical Society on December 28, 1896, and he followed that up with a public presentation in January 1896. From there, word spread through newspapers around the globe. The first article appeared in the Courant on January 22, 1896, and that’s when Green’s involvement with x-rays began.
According to Green's 1914 obituary in the Hartford Courant, Green's initial interest in x-rays was driven by the use of vacuum tubes to generate x-rays. Green had been working with vacuum tubes as part of his work on incandescent lamps, and he marshaled that experience as he started his own research. His obituary in the American Journal of Roentgenology similarly noted Green's work in incandescent lamps as critical to his early work in x-rays: his work with the lamps gave him access to both the glassblowers and the vacuum pumps that he needed to develop his own vacuum tube for generating x-rays.
Shortly after reading about this discovery, Henry Green began experimenting with x-rays. At some point over the next several weeks, he developed a glass tube that enabled him to focus x-rays and launched the next phase of his career.

1/1896 Probably read article in the Courant on x-rays
2/1896 Public demonstrations at Trinity College
Date? Demonstration at AHCC
5/1896 Built lab behind his house
7/1896 Used x-rays to locate a bullet in a man’s leg
8/1896 May or may not have used x-rays to help set Robert Magonigal’s leg
11/1896 Sold an x-ray machine to Hartford Hospital

Claims for Greatness

Started work after learning about x-rays in paper
1904-12-09 HCT 001
Manufactured first x-ray machine in country
1904-12-09 HCT 001
1914-03-05 NYT 001: first working focusing tubes
1914-03-05 HCT 001: first working focusing tubes
1914-03-05 HCT 001: first commercial manufacturer
First x-ray photograph in Connecticut
1904-12-09 HCT 001: Robert Magonigal’s leg
Hartford physicians among first to have benefit of x-ray diagnoses
1914-03-05 HCT 001


Annie A. Green, wife
Dulce Green, daughter
Harold A. Green, son
Leonard H. Green, son
Randolf Green, son
Winifred F. Green, daughter
Zevely B. Green, daughter

Associated People

John L. Allen
F. H. Annis
W. T. Bacon, oculist
Burton Baker, rival roentgenologist
John L. Bauer, partner
George N. Bell
Henry Bissell
William H. Blodgett
John B. Boucher
J. S. Bowen
James C. Bray
Roger Otis Capp
F. N. Chase
Fred J. Dole
J. L. Edwards, aka J. L. Edwards, Jr.
Solomon Elsner
W. J. FitzGerald, attorney
Nelson Ford
F. S. French
C. S. Frye
Frederick E. Fuller
James Gault
Harris E. Hart, aka H. E. Hart, attorney
John Healy
W. F. Henney, investor, Green Electric Lamp Company
George A. Hoffman
Charles E. Holt
Alfred W. Jacobs
John W. Jay
Arthur B. Jenkins
Louis LUica
J. B. Manning, Jr.
Samuel McCamman
Denis J. McCarthy
George S. Miller, investor, Green Electric Lamp Company
W. R. Munson, aka W. Russell Munson
A. E. O’Brien
M. E. O’Neill
R. W. Pitmman
S. W. Potts
C. H. Raeder
? Reinert, doctor
F. H. Richards, attorney
W. L. Robb, fellow roentgenologist
F. C. Rockwell, investor
James Sheehy, attorney
M. A. Shuckerow
C. W. Smith
Oliver C. Smith
Heath Sutherland, attorney
Thomas E. Turpin
Herman K. Vos Burgh
Bernice R. Ward
George F. Ward, attorney
John A. Wilcox
Harry R. Williams, aka H. R. Williams, attorney
Arthur J. Wolff, fellow roentgenologist
W. N. Woodruff, investor, Green Electric Lamp Company

Associated Places

38 Ann Street (demolished), Green & Bauer
50 Ashley Street (intact), home
356 (or 366) Asylum Street, Aetna Electric Company
67 Church Street, John Bauer’s residence
2035 Main Street, Spring Grove Cemetery
234 Pearl Street (intact), Green & Bauer (formerly City Mission Building)
33 Wells Street (demolished), Green & Bauer

Associated Entities

Aetna Electric Company
Green & Bauer, aka Green & Baur, aka Greene & Bauer
Green Electric Lamp Company
Sutherland & Anderson, attorneys
Ward & Joy, attorneys

Questions about Henry Green

No one realized how dangerous x-rays were at first, and early procedures to photograph objects using x-rays required lengthy exposures of up to 45 minutes. Green, along with his fellow roentgenologists, often used themselves as subjects for their x-ray photographs, and Green suffered burns due to his frequent and prolong exposures to x-rays. He was also indirectly exposed to x-rays throughout his researches, as there was no protective gear for early roentgenologists. Unfortunately for Green and his colleagues, one of their collective discoveries about x-rays were how dangerous they were, and many early researchers succumbed to some combination of burns and cancer brought on by x-rays. Green first noticed burns in 1905, and by 1912 his injuries impeded his ability to continue his work. He underwent four operations in 1913 in order to remove cancerous growths from his face, and he endured his final operation in November 1913, during which his left thumb was amputated and glands in his chest and arms were removed. Four months later he died of liver cancer.

American Journal of Roentgenology Hartford Courant New York Times

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