The controversy over the initial use of ether for anesthesia has long been resolved in the medical literature, although personal beliefs related to traditional teaching suggest at times that irreconcilable differences persist. Surely, Crawford W. Long, a physician and surgeon practicing in Athens, Ga, was the first physician to use sulfuric ether for surgical anesthesia; however, William Morton, a young dentist who administered the gas to a patient of John Collins Warren in the Massachusetts General Hospital upon the suggestion of Jackson, physician and chemist, was the first to have his experience proclaimed to the world.
Crawford Long was born in Danielsville, Ga.1 His father, a successful merchant, respected student of the law, and an outstanding citizen of Georgia, helped found the academy at Danielsville. Young Long attended Franklin College, later the University of Georgia, and graduated master of arts at the age of 19. He subsequently taught in
CRAWFORD W. LONG (1815-1878) DISCOVERER OF ETHER FOR ANESTHESIA. JAMA. 1965;194(9):1008-1009. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090220064022