995.4.84: Burton "Black Light" Lamp, 1935-1955

Additional Images

995.4.84: Burton
Image No. 3475 ; Photographer: Helen Kingsley

Object Description

Portable hand held electrical fluorescing UV-A lamp [Wood's light]. Consists of two fluorescent tubes with black glass outer-casing plugged into the lamp housing. The Bakelite lamp housing has a "on and off" switch, a central magnifier lens, a side handle and a 5 ft cord. 110-120 volts, produces 3660 angstrom units of UV. Also three 4W General Electric tubes: two 'DAYLIGHT' and one 'BLACKLIGHT' with the black glass outer-casing missing. 'Burton' stamped into housing surface.

Object Classification

Accession Number: 995.4.84
Collection: Dermatology
Date: 1935-1955

Object Dimensions

  • Length: 167.7 cm
  • Width: 17 cm
  • Depth: 5.2 cm

Object Parts

  • a) Housing and cord
  • b) UV tube with glass filter
  • c) 'Blacklight' tube
  • d) UV tube with glass filter
  • e) 'Daylight' tube
  • f) 'Daylight' tube

Object Materials

  • Bakelite,
  • chrome plate,
  • copper alloy,
  • glass,
  • metal,
  • rubber,
  • steel

Acquisition Detail

  • Manufacturer: Burton Medical
  • Manufacturer of part c) : General Electric Company (and parts e and f)
  • Owner: Dr. Andrew Davidson
  • History of Use: The lamp is a diagnostic tool used in dermatology by which UV-A light is shone onto the skin of the patient; a technician then observes any subsequent fluorescence. For example, porphyrins—associated with some skin diseases—will fluoresce pink. In medicine and some other scientific fields, such a light source is referred to as a Wood's lamp [named after Robert Williams Wood 1868–1955]. The lamp was used by Dr Andrew Davidson [1885-1972], a noted dermatologist, in conjunction with quartz applicators for treatment of ringworm of the scalp and other conditions. Dr. Andrew Davidson [1885-1972] was a military doctor and noted dermatologist who served in both WW1 and WW2. He served in France as an officer [Captain] for the Royal Army Medical Corps (1915-1917) and in the Canadian Army Medical Corps (1917-1919), specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of venereal and skin diseases. In 1939, he returned to active military service with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and was involved in the institution of the PULHEMS system. This is a system for classification of soldiers, the acronym stands for: P – physical capacity, U – upper extremity, L – locomotion, H – hearing, E – eyesight, M – mental capacity, S – stability of emotions. After the war, Dr. Davidson moved from Winnipeg to Vancouver, where he was in practice in association with his son, Dr. Kenneth Davidson. In 1947, Dr. Davidson was elected as the founding president of the Canadian Dermatological Association, and was a winner of the Sabouraud Medal for research in dermatology.