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The photograph shows a Wimshurst Machine, an electrostatic generator. The machine can generate a high DC voltage, although the current is very low, in the order of micro amps. The original machines used glass disks, but more modern versions use plastic. Some X-ray units used various forms of electrostatic generator at first, but as X-ray tubes became available capable of running at currents in the order of milliamps, rather than micro amps, the use of Wimshurst machines ceased.