Museum of Radiation and Radioactivity
ORAU is home to the largest collection of historical health physics instruments.View the collection
Links to different categories of items in the collection
Publications relating to the history of the radiological sciences
General information about radiation
The purpose of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Museum of Radiation and Radioactivity is to chronicle the scientific and commercial history of radioactivity and radiation. It has been deemed the official repository for historical radiological instruments by the Health Physics Society, and the Society has been generous in its financial support for the purchase of items.
The collection is the property of the not-for-profit ORAU Foundation, and it is located at the Professional Training Programs (PTP) training facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Unless noted otherwise, this website only features items actually in the collection. If you have any technical or historically-related questions about the collection, or if you are interested in making a donation, contact Dr. Paul Frame via email. Please do not ask about an appraisal—we do not attribute monetary values to items.
Oak Ridger: ORAU Museum of Radiation and Radioactivity—a most unique collection
Oak Ridge Historian D. Ray Smith discusses the impact of the ORAU Museum of Radiation and Radioactivity in his Historically Speaking column. The museum exists to chronicle the scientific and commercial history of radioactivity and radiation. While it is used for training and research purposes and not intended for public access, the museum's website has developed a much larger on audience due to the online descriptions and informative stories regarding an item's history. Over the years, the online availability has led to permission requests to use photographs of various items in books, displays, presentations, and even requests for help/information from the public.
Atomic Finds: Rare collection and curator preserve radiation history
Paul Frame, Ph.D., a health physicist and trainer at ORAU, started the health physics instrumentation collection in the 1980s when he discovered X-ray tubes and other items in a cabinet. Over time, the collection has grown to include hundreds of items, many of them donated or purchased by either the Health Physics Society or the non-profit ORAU Foundation.
Do you remember the shoe-fitting fluoroscope?
Join Paul Frame, Ph.D., a health physicist and trainer at ORAU, as he shares a sampling of pop culture items and their backgrounds.
People over age 65 are likely to remember the shoe-fitting fluoroscope from shopping for shoes when they were children. Using the device, kids, parents and shoe salesmen could see the bones of their feet.