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First X-ray Cinematograph Film Ever Taken

Frogs legs on film: trailblazing Victorian medical research


One small step for a frog, one giant leap for film. John Macintyre was a Glasgow surgeon who played a significant pioneering role in the development of radiology, x-ray photography and, via this footage of a frog's knee joint as it bends, their ingenious extension to moving image. A mere ten seconds that truly blaze a trail in medical imaging.

The ways digital media are used now are frequently anticipated by the ways 35mm film was used in its experimental early years. The scientific and medical community was just as quick to explore the use of film as an instrument of research and education as showbiz was to exploit it as a medium of entertainment. The title card was added to this copy of the film some years after its original production, and therefore the title by which the film has been catalogued is itself retrospective. Dr Macintyre's footage was apparently shown first in Glasgow before he brought it down to London to a no doubt thrilled scientific reception.