Monday, May 18, 2009

Florence Nightingale ("The Lady with the Lamp")
1820 – 1910

“Direct sunlight, not only daylight, is necessary for speedy
recovery, except, perhaps, in certain ophthalmic and a small
number of other cases. Instances could be given, almost
endless, where, in dark wards or in wards with a northern
aspect, even when thoroughly warmed, or in wards with
borrowed light, even when thoroughly ventilated, the sick
could not by any means be made speedily to recover... All
hospital buildings in this climate should be erected so that
as great a surface as possible should receive direct sunlight
– a rule which has been observed in several of our best hos-
pitals, but, I am sorry to say, passed over in some of those
most recently constructed. Window-blinds can always mod-
erate the light of a light ward; but the gloom of a dark ward
is irremediable... The escape of heat may be diminished by
plate or double glass. But while we can generate warmth,
we cannot generate daylight, or the purifying and curative
effect of the sun’s rays.”