Finsen lamp, Europe, 1890-1900

Made:
1890-1900 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

Finsen ultraviolet lamp, presented by Princess Alexandra to the London Hospital in 1900

This Finsen lamp was presented to the Royal London Hospital (formerly the London Hospital) by Queen Alexandra (1844-1925) when she was Princess of Wales. The lamp was named after its inventor, Neils Ryberg Finsen (1860-1904), who in 1894 pioneered the use of ultraviolet light (UV) to treat tuberculosis of the skin. The UV light is projected through each of the four telescopes so four patients can be treated at once. This type of treatment declined with the introduction of antibiotics but a lamp was kept in case the drugs did not work. The Finsen lamp was also used to treat rickets from the 1920s onwards.

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Science Museum: Science & Art of Medicine Gallery

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Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Object Number:
A600314
Materials:
brass, incomplete, leather, quartz, rubber, silk, steel, wood
type:
finsen lamp
taxonomy:
  • component - object
  • lamp - light bulb
  • ultraviolet lamp
credit:
London Hospital Medical College
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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