Looking Back: mobile X-ray unit

Rochester Post | Published April 22, 2021

ROCHESTER — For one week in 1949, a mobile unit came to Rochester providing free chest X-rays to over 1,000 people in the area.

This free service was part of an effort sponsored by the Oakland County Tuberculosis Association to detect and combat tuberculosis, an infectious disease targeting the lungs.

Alpha R. Musson, a former Rochester teacher and principal, worked as the association’s secretary at the time. He kept the local newspapers up to date with the mobile unit’s whereabouts and gave educational programs on tuberculosis to local community groups.

While in Rochester, the mobile X-ray unit made stops at National Twist Drill, McAleer Manufacturing Co. and Rochester High School. A steady line of Rochester-area residents waited for their X-rays at each stop, including Mr. Judd, Miss Cuthbertson, Doris Lanktree, and George Keast, pictured. With registration cards in hand, these four stood in line on Main Street, just south of Taste-Rite Bakery — current location of Home Bakery — at the corner of Third Street. At the end of the week, the local Rochester Era newspaper reported that a record number of people had received X-rays, more than double compared to a previous visit. Read more about the mobile X-ray unit in the March 20, 1947, Rochester Era newspaper on the Oakland County Historical Resources website: www.oaklandcountyhistory.org/awweb/pdfopener?md=1&did=206378.

 — Samantha Lawrence, museum archivist at the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm