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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: A Spokane X-ray pioneer died from his long-term use of the technology

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Dr. Henry W. Honet, 43, a Spokane X-ray pioneer, died from exposure to that very technology.

His death was caused “by a nervous breakdown resulting from the long use of the X-ray,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle wrote.

He had worked as the X-ray specialist at Sacred Heart Hospital for the past seven years. He had recently traveled to Bohemia, intending to return to Spokane. But he became ill Christmas Day and died Feb. 3 in Budweiss, Bohemia. Word of his death had arrived in Spokane.

He had studied in Vienna and Prague and had obtained an X-ray apparatus at the Roentgen laboratories, where the technology was developed. He brought the apparatus to New York in 1900, and then to Spokane around 1913.

From the sermon file: The Rev. H.A. Luckenbach of the Pilgrim Congregational Church pontificated on two modern trends, the liberation of women and the proliferation of labor-saving devices.

Here are his thoughts on women: “I am perfectly willing that the women should vote. I am willing that they should go to work, to practice law, to be married, to run a railway engine, to be a lumberjack. But there are some spheres distinctly for men and some distinctly for women. … It is worth something to be able to paint or run an automobile. But after the first month of married life, there is no substitute for muddy coffee or sour bread.”

On the second subject: “I sometimes think that we are now passing in our development into a race of mollycoddles. You have only to look at the ads in our magazines to see this. There are self-wringing mops, fireless cookers, vacuum cleaners, player pianos, and ready-cooked food.”

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