Florence Stoney (1870-1932) was an early radiology pioneer and the first female radiologist in the UK.
Florence Constance Stoney was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1870 to a distinguished family. Her father, G Johnstone Stoney, was a supporter of education for women and succeeded in opening Ireland to medical licensing for women; London University soon followed suit 2. Moreover her father and brothers were all Fellows of the Royal Society 3.
Florence could not study medicine in Dublin as women were not admitted then and went instead to London where she qualified from the London School of Medicine for Women later known as the Royal Free Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1895 top of her class with MB BS with Honors. In 1898 she graduated from the University of London with an MD . Her ambition was to be anatomist, and she worked as a demonstrator for a few years, but quit when she discovered that they would not permit a woman to become a member of the faculty.
Interestingly her sister Edith went on to become an early pioneer in medical physics and worked with Florence on portable x-ray units 2. Both were proponents of radiation safety 2.
Work and war contributions
She set up the x-ray department of the Royal Free Hospital and also of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in 1902. In 1907, Dr Harrison Orton was appointed over her as head of the Department of Radiology and Electrotherapy, he worked at the Royal Free Hospital until 1913.
In 1914, Florence volunteered her services during the First World War, and went on to lead an all-women medical unit for soldiers in a hospital in Belgium. Following attacks she moved the unit to France at Chateau Tourlaville near Cherbourg. By 1915, she worked for the War Office and ran the Fulham military Hospital.
Florence's health deteriorated due to excessive radiation exposure and she developed dermatitis in the hands. After the war she moved to Bournemouth where she had a large private radiological practice, and also honorary posts with several local hospitals. She retired in 1928. She was a keen early suffragist.
She died in 1932.
- awarded DMRE honoris causa by University of Cambridge
- awarded Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1918 for her military service
- first female radiologist in the United Kingdom
- in an era when women faced much difficulty in their lives due to the overt chauvinistic attitudes characteristic at that time
- founder and later President of the Wessex branch of the British Association for Radiology and Physiotherapy 3 (a forerunner to the British Institute of Radiology)
- 1. Florence Ada Stoney OBE, MD (Lond) DMRE (Camb) Obituary British Journal of Radiology 1932; ns 5: 853–8.
- 2. Spirt BA, Randall PA. Radiologic history exhibit. The role of women in wartime radiology. (1995) Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. 15 (3): 641-52. doi:10.1148/radiographics.15.3.7624569 - Pubmed
- 3. 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
- 1898: Marie Curie publishes her paper 'Rays emitted by uranium and thorium compounds'
- 1913: Albert Salomon commences research leading to mammography
- 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
- 1972: Godfrey Hounsfield introduces the CT scanner (co-developed with Allan Cormack)
- 1977: Ray Damadian builds the first commercial MRI scanner
- 2005: Frank Gaillard creates Radiopaedia.org :)
- 2012: inaugural International Day of Radiology
key figures in the history of radiology
- Antoine Henri Becquerel
- Kathleen "Kitty" Clark
- 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
- 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
- history of radiology journals
- history of radiology organizations
- United Kingdom
- United States
- pioneering radiology books