|On October 16, 1846, a new era for
surgery began in the Operating
Theatre of the Massachusetts
General Hospital. The first public
demonstration was given of
anaesthesia to the extent of
producing insensibility to pain
during a serious surgical operation.
|Sulfuric ether was administered by
William Thomas Green Morton, A
Boston dentist. The patient was
Gilbert Abbott. The operation was
the removal of a tumor under the
jaw. The surgeon was John
Collins Warren. The Patient
declared that he had felt no pain
during the operation and was
discharged well December 7.
|Robert Hinckley's painting, "The First Operation with Ether,"
on display at the Countway Library of Medicine, Boston MA
|In 1847 James Young Simpson, a Scottish obstetrician, used chloroform as an
anesthetic for childbirth. In 1853, John Snow convinced Queen Victoria’s physicians
to allow him to use chloroform anesthesia in the delivery of her son, Prince Leopold.
The delivery was successful, and with the Queen’s blessing, chloroform use in
childbirth became firmly established. See:
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|From the bibliography for
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