Our Friend the Sun

Our Friend, the Sun:
Images of Light Therapeutics
from the
Osler Library Collection,


 This excerpt is an interesting look at how science used sunlight in the early 1900’s to aid health and cure illness. Augusta Rollier built solaria’s throughout Switzerland which were buildings designed to optimise peoples exposure to sunlight. People soaked up the sun and had some incredible results and health benefits-from fighting tuberculosis, smallpox, lupus and even chronic diseases like arthritis.

Peoples exposure to sunlight has gone in and out of favour for centuries and in the 1970’s was declared to be a significant cause of skin cancer by the American Cancer Society. The solution has been to minimise your exposure to sunlight and to use sunscreen to cut out the harmful UV rays when outdoors. Despite this advice, melanoma rates have increased over 200% since 1973—even while the U.S sunscreen industry has expanded from $18 million in 1972 to around $2 billion today.

It is estimated that Americans now spend about 93% of their time indoors and most simply don’t get enough exposure to sunlight.

Click on this link for article