At the End of the Rainbow: Vintage Film about Ultraviolet Light, 1946
In the beginning, there was ultraviolet light.
By Maria Popova
In 1946, the Sun-Kraft Corporation commissioned the Handy (Jam) Organization — whom we’ve previously enjoyed in an homage to makers and hands-on creativity, an animated explanation of how radio broadcasting works, a visual tour of mid-century design, and the original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer animation — to produce a film promoting the history, physics, and health-giving properties of ultraviolet radiation. The result was At the End of the Rainbow — an odd blend of science education and corporate agenda that, nonetheless, far exceeds today’s questionable corporate tie-ins in both public service value and cultural merit.
Part Two explores how an American inventor set out to create an ultraviolet ray generator that would make the sun’s health-giving qualities available at low cost, and what happened next:
For more on the fascinating science of light, see Catching the Light: The Entwined History of Light and Mind.
Published March 5, 2012