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American Sunshine – Diseases of Darkness and the Quest for Natural Light - Chicago Scholarship Online
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American Sunshine: Diseases of Darkness and the Quest for Natural Light

Daniel Freund


In the second half of the nineteenth century, American cities began to go dark. Hulking new buildings overspread blocks, pollution obscured the skies, and glass and smog screened out the health-giving rays of the sun. Doctors fed fears about these new conditions with claims about a rising tide of the “diseases of darkness,” especially rickets and tuberculosis. This book tracks the obsession with sunlight from those bleak days into the twentieth century. Before long, social reformers, medical professionals, scientists, and a growing nudist movement proffered remedies for America's new dark age. ... More

Keywords: rickets, tuberculosis, social reform, medicine, nudist movement, architects, city planners, politicians, public housing, public health

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780226262819
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226262833.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel Freund, author