Light bath, Europe, 1890-1920

Made:
1890-1920 in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Electric light bath for light therapy in a seated position, no maker marked, 1890-1920

So-called ‘light baths’ like this were a form of light therapy. This is also known as heliotherapy. Treatments involving light and colours were claimed to improve a number of ailments, including diabetes, rheumatism and meningitis. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) was famous for breakfast cereal, but he developed one of the first ‘electric-light baths’. Kellogg believed the light caused the skin to fill with blood. This then drew blood away from swollen areas and sick organs. The blood was also believed to be ‘fixed in the skin’ by cold water for a lasting effect. Such claims proved fanciful. However, light is proven to help conditions such as psoriasis and acne, as well as some sleep disorders.

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Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Object Number:
1982-749
Materials:
cabinet, wood, glass, metal
Measurements:
overall (door): 750 mm
type:
light bath
credit:
Market Place Antiques

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