Protective goggles used during UV light therapy, England, 1930-1950

1930-1950 in England
Two pairs of protective goggles, with green tinted lenses

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Two pairs of protective goggles, with green tinted lenses
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Two pairs of protective goggles, with green tinted lenses, for use during light therapy at the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital, Alton, Hampshire, England, 1930-1950

High concentrations of UV light can damage the eyes, so green plastic goggles like these were worn by children undergoing ultraviolet light therapy or actinotherapy. The treatment could be used to treat rickets, but was also used for tuberculosis of the skin – a highly disfiguring disease known as lupus vulgaris. Rickets was common in those with a vitamin D deficient diet and a lack of sunlight also contributed to the condition, whereas exposing the skin of people with lupus to sunlight or UV lamps could kill the tuberculosis bacteria.

The goggles were used at the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital in Alton, Hampshire, England. Founded in 1908, the hospital was originally opened to provide specialised treatment for children with orthopaedic conditions, mainly caused by tuberculosis and, later, polio. However, a significant number of lupus and rickets cases were also treated there.


Object Number:
leather, metal and fabric
overall: 70 mm x 135 mm x 48 mm, .03kg
North Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust