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Sydney Blackman (1898-1971): a pioneer in dental radiology and radiography


Sydney Blackman, was a consultant radiologist at the Royal Dental Hospital of London between 1931 and 1967. He contributed much to the advance of dento-maxillofacial radiology. His development of the 'rotograph' as the first commercially available dental panoramic machine established dental radiology on a level with medical radiology. Sydney was a major contributor to the establishment of the British Society of Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology.

Key points

  • The 1920s to the 1950s was a period of great advances in dental radiology and radiography.

  • As always with major developments, what was needed were individuals with the know-how and passion to develop and promote them. Sydney Blackman and Rita Mason were the right people at the right time.

  • The rotograph and panoramic dentistry were major advances in dental radiography.

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Rebecca Mason, Rita Mason's daughter, and Ruth Bramley, Sydney Blackman's great-niece, provided family background and photographs from their family archives: Ruth supplied Figures 1 and 3, Rebecca supplied Figures 2 and 4. Peter Hirschmann kindly provided invaluable comments on an earlier draft. Helen Nield, Head of BDA Library and Knowledge Services, located a number of sources.

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Correspondence to Stanley Gelbier.

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Gelbier, S. Sydney Blackman (1898-1971): a pioneer in dental radiology and radiography. Br Dent J 235, 736–740 (2023).

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