the Quain Sunlight Bath sunlamp was fitted with carbon rods, enriched with a little iron in order to increase the emission of ultraviolet radiation
Quain Sunlight Bath sunlamp
A carbon arc lamp generated a continues
voltaic arc between two electrodes made
out of pressed carbon powder thus giving
it the name carbon arc lamp or just arc
lamp. The electromagnetic spectrum of a
carbon arc lamp was extremely wide. It
produced an intense white light and its
radiation extended from infrared till rays
well into the ultraviolet ranges. The arc
was responsible for the ultraviolet
radiation and the major part of the light
while the glowing tips of the carbon rods
added to the infrared part of the
spectrum. With therapeutical sunlamp
appliances like the Quain Sunlight Bath on display here, the carbon rods were
enriched with a little iron in order to increase the emission of ultraviolet radiation.
One of the first successful medical applications of artificial sunlight came from the
Danish scientist Niels Finsen who, in 1893 already, used red light for the treatment of
smallpox. In 1895 he also successfully used ultraviolet radiation for the treatment of
lupus vulgaris, a form of skin tuberculosis. The ultraviolet radiation was generated
with help of a powerful carbon arc lamp. The ultraviolet part of this radiation mainly
consisted of UV-A which was concentrated with lenses while the warmth caused by
the infrared part of the radiation was lead away to allow for local treatment of
sensitive parts of the body. Finsen was awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his
work in 1903 and his ultraviolet device became known as the Finsen lamp.