Tag Archives: ether anesthesia

William Morton first demonstrates the use of ether anesthesia

In 1846 the dentist William T Morton first publicly demonstrated the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anesthetic at the Massachusetts General Hospital. At the end of the procedure, the surgeon famously said: “Gentlemen, this is no humbug.” Very soon anesthesia became universally used in surgery. The first use of ether in dental surgery, […]

Robert Liston – the fastest knife in town

Samuel Johnson, a man of strongly held prejudices, had a low opinion of most foreigners, and this included the Scots. James Boswell, his biographer and a Scotsman himself, records how Johnson patronizingly would declare that the best roads lead from Scotland and that much could be made of a Scotsman “if he be caught young.” […]

Anesthesia: culture, technology, and the rise of the surgeon

Suzanne Raga New Jersey, USA   A depiction of eye surgery c. 1195 The introduction of new technologies such as surgical anesthesia has led to better methods of diagnosis and treatment, but it also shows that the relationship between medical theory and practice is not always a smooth one. Surprisingly, anesthesia was first used for […]