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To the Editor:—
I was very much interested to read two recent editorials in The Journal (194:1006, 1008, 1965), namely, "Credit for Discovery" and "Crawford W. Long, Discoverer of Ether for Anesthesia." I believe that, as indicated in the editorial, it is most important to stress that a discovery frequently stems from several sources. Despite the very human tendency to claim priority, it is more important that society in general recognize all who have contributed to a given thought or discovery. If the discovery of general anesthesia is a milestone in medical progress, as stated by Dr. Harry Beckman, then it follows that this contribution is sufficiently large that the credit might well be shared by Long, Wells, Morton, Jackson, and others. Additionally, an English physician, Henry Hickman, demonstrated general anesthesia in animals in 1825 using carbon dioxide. Although this is a somewhat unusual method of anesthesia, there is
Steinhaus JE. Crawford W. Long, and Henry Hickman. JAMA. 1966;195(6):499. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100060139048