When Were Tanning Beds Invented


When it comes to tanning beds, people either love them or hate them. Being exposed to the sun was known to be a cause of skin cancer as early as 1908 and the sun was believed to cause a number of other detrimental physical conditions as well. People began resorting to tanning beds and artificial tanning methods to achieve the looks that they wanted. As for the modern tanning booth, however, it was invented be Friedrich Wolff and the first tanning beds made their appearance in the United States in 1979.

You can still find Wolff’s name licensed on a number of tanning beds still today. You can also find his name on some other inventions. Here is a brief look at this inventor’s career.

1. Improved Wheel Hubs

When you press the brake pedal in your vehicle, what happens? For most vehicles on the road today, brake pads are compressed against the rotor of the wheel to help slow down its momentum. Wolff was part of a team that invented a multi-disk braking system with a wheel hub that contains a integral planetary gear mechanism so that the outer brake plates are connected to the hub and the inner plates are connected to the axle body to create more efficient stopping power.

2. Pliers with Spring Tension

Pliers are a handy tool to have because they allow you to grip and turn items that would normally hurt your hands. What Wolff and the team of inventors he worked with developed was a method of improving pliers so that they had tensioning that allows for more strength. The legs of the pliers would also pivot toward each other, allowing more pressure to be applied at the jaws of the pliers based on what a user needed from the tool.

3. A Exercising Machine/Bed Combination

Who doesn’t love the idea of having their bed turn into a low impact exercising machine? Wolff’s invention allows for a frame that can carry a bed, which can then be converted into a seat for the exercising machine. Think of combining a exercise bike with a futon and you’ve got the general concept of this invention.

4. Hydraulic Two Speed Transmission

One of Wolff’s first inventions after introducing the tanning bed to the United States was the two-speed hydraulic transmission. It is a stronger transmission that is designed to work under heavy loads that you’d find at your typical job site. Designed specifically for heavy construction equipment, like an excavator, the transmission allows for safer shifting, better braking power, and ultimately more overall stability.

5. Improved Sunlamps

As research as improved in the area of sunlight and there’s an understanding that UV radiation can cause harm to the human body, Wolff worked to improve his most famous invention so that it could become a bit safer. The improved sunlamps would be able to remove some of the UVA and UVB radiation and would include a timer so that the light could be interrupted at a predetermined time that was set before entering the tanning bed.

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