Tag Archives: nitrous oxide

Airs and graces: Humphry Davy and science as performance

Alan Bleakley Sennen, West Cornwall, United Kingdom   A cartoon featured in an 1807 dissertation by a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania on the “chemical and exhilarating effects of nitrous oxide gas.” The two figures are almost certainly Davy to the right and perhaps Beddoes to the left. Credit: Bulletin of the Society […]

The “Ether Controversy”

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Warren and Morton’s operation in the Ether Dome, restaged with Mass General physicians assuming the roles of the original participants. Warren Zapol, MD, chief of anesthesia and critical care, starred as Dr. Morton, while Philip Kistler, MD, director of the Mass General stroke unit, played Dr. Warren. […]

“Gentlemen! This is no humbug.”

Summer A. Niazi Jack E. Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   First Operation Under Ether, by Robert C. Hinckley, Boston Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, 1882-1893 (Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology) Source The words “Gentlemen! This is no humbug” is one of the most famous statements in the history of […]

Roget and his Thesaurus

JMS Pearce East Yorks, UK   Fig 1. Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869). William. Drummond, after Eden Upton Eddis. c.1830s. Credit National Portrait Gallery  There was much more to Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869)(Fig 1) than his indispensable Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (Fig 2).1 But little is remembered of his illustrious career in medicine and […]

What November may bring: the first 37 days of surgical anesthesia

A.J. Wright Birmingham, Alabama, United States     William Thomas Green Morton (August 9, 1819 – July 15, 1868) In medical history October 16 is known as “Ether Day” to commemorate dentist William Morton’s 1846 demonstration of ether inhalation for a surgical patient of Dr. John Collins Warren. The event is often described as the […]

Horace Wells

Roshan Radhakrishnan Kerala, India   In 1845, a dentist stepped onto the spotlight at the revered Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He wanted to show his medical brethren something unique, something unheard of back then in the field of surgery. He wanted to show them how the world could finally be rid of pain. The […]