M0020234 Portrait of Harry Steenbock. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Portrait of Harry Steenbock, half length with arms folded. Photograph By: LonolPublished: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Harry Steenbock was a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who showed that irradiation by ultraviolet light increased the vitamin D content of foods and other organic materials.  Steenbock patented his invention with his own money, then donated the patent to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), which he helped start.  WARF licensed the patent to companies, beginning with the Quaker Oats company.  By the time Steenbock’s patent expired in 1945, the vitamin D deficiency disease rickets had all but been eliminated.