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March 25, 1992

Sesquicentennial of Anesthesiology Recognizes Newly Energized Specialty

JAMA. 1992;267(12):1575. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480120013002

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DEPENDING ON whether they practice in Boston, Mass, or anywhere else in the United States, anesthesiologists may or may not celebrate next week.

Although March 30, 1992, has been declared the Crawford W. Long Sesquicentennial, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the use of anesthesia by the physician of that name, opinion in some places remains divided as to the propriety of handing the palm to this Jefferson, Ga, surgeon rather than Yankee dentist William Morton, who performed what he believed to be the initial use of ether during surgery 4 years later—on October 16, 1846.

According to an account in the American Society of Anesthesiologists Newsletter (1992;56:6-7), it wasn't until Long read an account of Morton's deed, originally published in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, that he decided to write about what he had been doing since March 30, 1842, in the Southern Medical Journal. To this day, there