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Geiger Counters - Niagara Science Museum

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The Origin of the Survey Meter…
Robley Evans is generally credited with developing the first whole body
counter, the purpose of which was to measure the radium burden in the
bodies of radium workers.
…It is a story of the very first radiation survey using a count-rate meter.
The year was 1936… a radium-containing industrial radiography source
had disappeared at GE facility in Massachusetts. GE’s insurance company
(Liberty Mutual) contacted Dr. Evans at MIT and asked him to help locate
the missing source. Evans packed up his count-rate meter, a long extension
cable and a GM detector and surveying the plant with his bulky equipment
and he located a strong source of radiation coming from an unexpected
location: a worker’s locker!... The radium source was in the pocket of a
shirt. The worker was immediately tracked down and found to have a
severe skin burn on his chest and on his back, opposite the burn on the
front of his body, was a patch of erythema. As Evans recounted the
incident,…”those were the days of the wild west” .. This was the first
radiation survey with a Count Rate Meter!
from our collection
El-Tronics PR-5A an early Geiger Counter
El-Tronics Inc.
was located in Philadelphia, PA and it was one
of the first company which advertised as “Designers and
Manufacturers of Nucleonic and Electronic Equipment”, they claimed
to be manufacturers of GM counter apparatus for nearly 14 years
already in 1948.
The El-Tronics PR-5A was designed and manufactured at the
beginning of 1950s . It has a built in Geiger Mueller tube (halogen
quenched) and it was powered by two flashlight batteries. The three
ranges were: 0.2; 2.0 and 20 mR/h.
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