Source:  History    Tag:  digital radiograph
Digital imaging was developed in the 1960s and 1970s, largely to avoid the operational weaknesses of film cameras, for scientific and military missions including the KH-11 program. As digital technology became cheaper in later decades, it replaced the old film methods for many purposes.

The first digital image was produced in 1920, by the Bartlane cable picture transmission system. British inventors, Harry G. Bartholomew and Maynard D. McFarlane, developed this method. The process consisted of “a series of negatives on zinc plates that were exposed for varying lengths of time, thus producing varying densities,”. The Bartlane cable picture transmission system generated at both its transmitter and its receiver end a punched data card or tape that was recreated as an image.

In 1957, Russell A. Kirsch produced a device that generated digital data that could be stored in a computer; this used a drum scanner and photomultiplier tube.

In the early 1960s, while developing compact, lightweight, portable equipment for the onboard nondestructive testing of naval aircraft, Frederick G. Weighart[3] and James F. McNulty[4] at Automation Industries, Inc., then, in El Segundo, California co-invented the first apparatus to generate a digital image in real-time, which image was a fluoroscopic digital radiograph. Square wave signals were detected by the pixels of a cathode ray tube to create the image.

These different scanning ideas were the basis of the first designs of digital camera. Early cameras took a long time to capture an image and were poorly suited for consumer purposes.[1] It wasn’t until the development of the CCD (charge-coupled device) that the digital camera really took off. The CCD became part of the imaging systems used in telescopes, the first black and white digital cameras and camcorders in the 1980s.Color was eventually added to the CCD and is a usual feature of cameras today.