New Sun Lamp Held in Hand Brands Babies (Dec, 1938)

It seems like you could accomplish the same thing with a sharpie…

New Sun Lamp Held in Hand Brands Babies

A new hand-type ultraviolet-ray lamp makes it easier for nurses in a Brooklyn, N.Y., hospital to brand the initials of a new-born baby on his skin to prevent identification mix-ups in the hospital nursery. Soft ultra-violet rays pass through stenciled initials placed within the easily handled unit to tan the letters on the infant as well as on the mother. Harmless, the identification brand is said to remain visible for a period of two weeks.

  1. Elton says: August 5, 20084:57 am

    Works great… on CAUCASIANS!

  2. galessa says: August 5, 20088:34 am

    a red hot branding iron mark would be visible for more than 2 weeks.

  3. Erica says: August 5, 20088:46 am

    @galessa — any new-born in the hospital for longer than two weeks has more serious risks than baby mix-ups!

  4. Al Bear says: August 5, 20089:39 am

    Elton, Maybe they use black light for black kids, 😛

    All kidding aside this is pretty bad, tipycal 1930’s sillyness.

  5. Charlene says: August 5, 20089:58 am

    Apparently they had no redheaded babies?

  6. Rick Auricchio says: August 5, 20081:01 pm

    The woman on the right looks way too interested in the woman on the left.

  7. StanFlouride says: August 5, 20082:51 pm

    I don’t care, I WANT one!
    Think of the possibilities- sort of temporary tattoos, designs, words, etc.

  8. Jim Devlin says: August 5, 20084:15 pm

    It would be interesting to track down these 70-year-olds to see if they have melanomas monogrammed on their thighs.

  9. Mike says: August 5, 20087:35 pm

    Al Bear, get on the bus.

    This device couldn’t have been too popular, I don’t think it lasted too long.

  10. Charlene says: August 5, 20089:05 pm

    Thinking that this would cause a melanoma is like thinking that a single cigarette at age 12 will somehow cause lung cancer.

  11. Jim Devlin says: August 6, 20083:07 pm

    Charlene: my comment is not entirely flippant. You may know that newborns with jaundice are commonly treated with visible spectrum blue light phototherapy. The fluorescent tubes used are completely filtered for UV light, and the light is certainly not strong enough to tan babies. Even this visible light seems to double the number of melanocytic nevi by the age of eight. These nevi are the common pigmented spots which we all have, but are a recognised risk factor for later malignant melanoma. If non-tanning light can do this, what might be effect of UV strong enough to “brand” babies?

    (As far I know there has been no long-term followup of babies given visible light phototherapy to see if there is increased melanoma in adult life.)


  12. Agent Irons says: August 6, 20086:32 pm

    I don’t know about the whole melanoma thing. I mean, either you don’t get it (yay good for you) or you have a really awesome freckle tattoo of your initials(yay even better for you). You can go pick up chicks with your thigh initials.

    @ comment 6: Everyone knows that women who look like that lady on the right have UV-monogrammed-baby fetishes. Everyone knows this. It’s the hair part. It’s a signal to those in the know, like those rainbow flags they hang outside gay bars sometimes.

    Silliness aside, someone give these guys a sharpie.

  13. JM says: August 7, 20087:49 am

    Why not to have more care to avoid babies mix-ups?…

    And, it says the mothers also get the initials… In the case of the woman to the rigth I just don’t want to know where…

  14. Heather says: August 7, 200810:21 pm

    More amazing is the kind of harassment women get when they don’t look like they belong on the cover of a cheap magazine. First we get called gay (oh, huge insult – but really, SO crudely put, which gutter did you dredge your manners out of), followed by a whole onslaught of other nasty and insulting, well, insults!
    As for the machine, wierd! But no wierder than the 30-odd % c-section rate that’s sweeping the western world. Imagine the lasting impact on those babies, mums, families, future generations! I wish we were just going to end up with a 2 week tan over this one!

  15. Mike says: November 7, 20088:02 pm

    Even MORE AMAZING is that the lady in the photo has found this website and left a comment, thanks Heather! Congratulations on being 100 years old!

  16. MM says: April 25, 20093:53 am

    I wonder how long that light has to sit on the baby’s bottom before it “brands” them clearly… either its really hot/painful, or it would take a long while (minutes, hours?).

    Anyway, yes women back in the day didn’t have to be pretty to be on magazines, but sorry Heather, back then they didn’t all know that sex sells either.

    Put that same device in with a hot nurse, and a gorgeous blonde “mother” and you can probably bet it would have been more popular (lol).

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