Naughty, Naughty Roentgen Rays

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(image via elettrogenica.tumblr.com)

I’m full of daze,
Shock and amaze;
For nowadays
I hear they’ll gaze
Thro’ cloak and gown — and even stays,
These naughty, naughty Roentgen Rays.

This little ditty from 1896 sums up the prurient interest that Wilhelm Roentgen’s invention of X-ray technology immediately… err… “aroused.”

By the 1930s the X-ray was still exotic enough to be exploited by the pulps as a tool employed by the mad scientist in his tireless experimentation upon voluptuous semi-clad female subjects. (images via pbase.com/silverghost1951.)

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The fascination lingered through the 1950s and into the 1960s as evidenced by this classic Gil Elvegren pinup “Inside Story/Overexposure” and the success of “Sea-Monkey” creator, Nazi, and mail-order huckster Harold Von Braunhut‘s naughty-minded “X-ray Specs.”

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Today, of course, these salacious fantasies have been all-too graphically realized in the work of Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, whose radiographic images of various acts sex acts have been posted to death since they first appeared on the in 2001. We prefer the more evocative X-ray pinup calendar that appeared in 2010 as a promotional item for medical imaging company Eizo, and has of late been satirically recast as “The Miss TSA Calendar.”

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