Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Reports of Visits to Foreign Laboratories, vol. 7 (1932-33) [Illustrated Typoscript in 7 volumes] Reproduced with the kind permission of Dr. Cecil E. Leith
Benedict, Francis Gano
It is worthy of note that Saidman and the associates in the room 
at the time had never heard of Bohnenkamp and Gobet. That brought 
up a discussion of preparation of papers and citing of literature. 
Jean Meyer said that a German won't cite a French paper and stated 
that it is very difficult for à Frenchman to get up a good literature, 
and therefore they have to be content with giving all of the French 
literature. This appeared to me as being very naive. They were 
loud in their praises of the American Journal of Dermatology but thought 
that the syphilitic journals were very poor. 
Saidman is working on a change which corresponds more or less to 
the radiometer or pyranometer of Abbot or something like the instrument 
I recently saw in Dr. Du Bois' laboratory in New York, developed by 
Dr. Hardy. This involved the use of a thermo-pile a definite 
distance from the skin with a window that may be either left open or 
provided with a ray filter of some kind. Evidently he is trying hard 
to do something but it seemed to me very crude, although he had good 
quantitative ideas. He waited for and checked the baseline after each 
observation. He also tried to get the skin temperature at the same 
time to compare it. They emphasized to me that the most important 
work was by a doctor at a sanitarium at Cannes and Aix-les-Bains where 
the remarkable "solarium tournant" had been constructed. 
Saidman judges of the solar activity of places by the time element 
in which a certain skin reaction could be obtained. Thus he found 
that at Jungfraujoch it took 13 minutes, at Davos 15 minutes, at 
Aix-les-Bains 15 minutes, and at Cannes 15 minutes. Thus there was 
hardly any change between the low altitude of the two French places 
and the high altitude of Davos, and the extremely high altitude of 
the Jungfraujoch. He felt that altitude per se was not so important 
for light therapy. He had visited Davos, Arosa, and Jungfraujoch 
and made tests on his own skin to see which was the best place. 
The black body. Saidman had a black body for study which consisted 
of a tin can 10 cm. high and about 10 cm. in diameter. It was painted 
flat black inside and rested on a water surface in a can, the level 
of the water being just above that of the bottom of this black can. 
This had a ring so it could rest on the edge of the water-containing 
can. The water in this can was at 37° C. and the bottom of the can 
was 37° C. This was his standard black body. 
The impression one gets on talking with Saidman and his associate 
Meyer, and the others, is that they are really trying very hard to do 
some good work but, as is so frequently the case, their work pronouncedly 
savors of clinical methods. I presume that the solarium is in very 
large part a commercial feature and probably the clinic at Aix-les-Bains 
is likewise commercial. But still at the Institute of Actinology at 
Paris there is no question but what a large amount of research as such


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