Sydney D Rowland (1872-1917), was the founder and editor of the Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy, the first regular journal of radiology to be published anywhere in the world.
Sydney Domville Rowland was born on 29 March 1872.
His undergraduate preclinical studies were at Downing College, University of Cambridge, where he was a Scholar and President of the Natural History Society. In 1895 he transferred to St Bartholomew's Hospital in London for his clinical training, where he was a Shuter Scholar.
World's first radiology journal
As a medical student Sydney Rowland had worked as a medical journalist under the guidance of his uncle Ernest Hart the then editor of the BMJ . It was no great surprise then that on 8 February 1896, the British Medical Journal officially invited Mr. Rowland, as a "Special Commissioner" to contribute a series of weekly articles on the potential medical applications of Roentgen's rays. From February to June 1896, 13 articles were published, covering novel technical advances, emerging clinical radiography experimentation, and demonstrations of the new technology to the lay populace 4. In some respects this series of articles actually formed the first 'radiology journal' in all but name.
As a 24-year old medical student, Rowland founded the Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy 1. The first issue, published in April or early May 1896, comprised 16 pages with a prefacing editorial, an article by Rowland on the basic methodology of taking a radiograph, or skiagram as he coined it, and six photographic plates of radiographs. Paid advertisements for x-ray equipment appeared on the final page 3.
The journal appeared for a further three issues from 1896 to 1897. For its last (fourth) issue, published in May 1897, the clinical part of the name was dropped, becoming the Archives of Skiagraphy 3.
In the first article of the first issue Sydney Rowland set out in an editorial his hopes for the new discipline "The object of this publication is to put on record in permanent form some of the most striking applications of the New Photography to the needs of Medicine and Surgery" 2.
He qualified with the Conjoint Diploma (the medical qualifying exam in the late 19th century) in April 1897, which gave him the post-nominal letters LRCP and LRCS, and allowed him to use the honorific, Doctor 4. Ironically, Dr Rowland did not become a radiologist, but trained and worked as a microbiologist. He commenced work as an Assistant Bacteriologist at the Lister Institute in 1898.
He was elected to the Council of the Roentgen Society in November 1898.
In 1905 he traveled to India as part of the Plague Commission 4.
At the onset of the First World War he enlisted, joining the Royal Army Medical Corps, and eventually attaining the rank of Major. He was based in France and headed-up a field laboratory. He tragically died on 6 March 1917 from meningitis 1,4.
The Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy was the ultimate forerunner to the BJR (British Journal of Radiology).
- 1. Major Sydney Domville Rowland, R.A.M.C. Born 29th March 1872–Died 6th March 1917. J. Pathol. 1918;21:453–456. doi:10.1002/path.1700210306
- 2. Rowland S. "Preface." Archives of (Clinical) Skiagraphy. 1896;1:3–4. https://doi.org/10.1259/acs.1896.0002
- 3. Bishop PJ. The evolution of the British Journal of Radiology. The British journal of radiology. 46 (550): 833-6. doi:10.1259/0007-1285-46-550-833 - Pubmed
- 4. Edmund H. Burrows. Pioneers and Early Years. (1986)
Related Radiopaedia articles
History of radiology
- key milestones
- 1895: Wilhelm Roentgen detects x-rays
- 1896: Antoine Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity
- 1896: Sydney Rowland founds the first radiology journal, Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy
- 1896: Thomas Edison invents the first commercially-available fluoroscope
- 1896: John Macintyre opens the world's first radiology department in Glasgow
- 1898: Marie Curie publishes her paper 'Rays emitted by uranium and thorium compounds'
- 1913: Albert Salomon commences research leading to mammography
- 1913: William Coolidge introduces his eponymous x-ray tube
- 1927: Egas Moniz develops cerebral angiography
- 1934: Frederic and Irene Joliot-Curie artificially produce radioisotopes
- 1936: John Lawrence uses phosphorus-32 to treat leukemia
- 1939: Kitty Clark publishes Clark’s Positioning in Radiography
- 1950s: David Kuhl invents Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
- 1953: Sven-Ivar Seldinger develops his famous technique
- 1957: Ian Donald invents fetal ultrasound
- 1964: Charles Dotter introduces image-guided intervention
- 1965: Benjamin Felson publishes his Principles of Chest Roentgenology
- 1971: Godfrey Hounsfield introduces the CT scanner (co-developed with Allan Cormack)
- 1977: Ray Damadian builds the first commercial MRI scanner
- 1989: Spiral CT introduced
- 2005: Frank Gaillard creates Radiopaedia.org :)
- 2012: inaugural International Day of Radiology
key figures in the history of radiology
- Antoine Henri Becquerel
- Gustav Bucky
- Kathleen "Kitty" Clark
- William D Coolidge
- Allan M Cormack
- Marie Curie
- Ray V Damadian
- Ian Donald
- Charles T Dotter
- Thomas A Edison
- Charles Thurstan Holland
- Godfrey N Hounsfield
- Frederick Joliot
- Irene Joliot-Curie
- David E Kuhl
- Paul C Lauterbur
- Peter Mansfield
- Egas Moniz
- Bernard Ziedses des Plantes
- Wilhelm C Roentgen
- Sven-Ivar Seldinger
- Albert Soiland
- Florence Stoney
- important figures in the history of radiology
- Nobel Prize winners in radiology
- history of modalities
- plain radiography
- nuclear medicine
- interventional radiology
- historical imaging techniques
- conventional tomography
- translumbar aortography
history of radiology journals
- American Journal of Neuroradiology (AJNR)
- American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR)
- American X-Ray Journal
- Archives of Clinical Skiagraphy
- British Journal of Radiology (BJR)
- Clinical Radiology
- Emergency Radiology
- European Radiology
- Journal de Radiologie
- Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR)
- Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology (JMIRO)
- Seminars in Roentgenology
- history of radiology meetings
history of radiology organizations
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Asian Oceanian Society of Radiology (AOSR)
- Colegio Interamericano de Radiologia (CIR)
- European Society of Radiology (ESR)
- Fleischner Society
- International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)
- International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT)
- International Society of Radiology (ISR)
- pioneering radiology books
- Atlas of Normal Roentgen Variants That May Simulate Disease
- Reeder and Felson's Gamuts in Radiology
- Radiographic Atlas of Skeletal Development of the Hand and Wrist
- Roentgenology - The Borderlands of the Normal and Early Pathological in the Skiagram
- The Roentgen Rays in Medicine and Surgery as an Aid in Diagnosis and as a Therapeutic Agent
- Textbook of X-ray Diagnosis by British Authors