The Rotating Solariums of Jean Saidman

Solariums of Jean Saidman

The importance of sunlight to human health is well understood, and that understanding developed in the late 19th century when it was discovered that sunbathing aided the production of vitamin D which helped prevent rickets. Soon, heliotherapy—treating patients by exposing them to sunlight—became a well-established remedy for treating various conditions of the skin, cancer, tuberculosis of the bones, among other things. Exposure to sunlight is also known to have a positive effect on a person's mental health.

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Dr. Jean Saidman, who ran the Institute of Actinology in Paris, recognized these benefits. Saidman was born in Romania in 1897, but emigrated to France as a teenager. He studied medicine and became an early expert in the field of actinology, a branch of science that studies the chemical effects of high-energy light. In 1929, he designed and patented a “rotating solarium” to better aid ultraviolet light treatment.


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