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November 7, 1885


JAMA. 1885;V(19):529. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02391180025011

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To the Editor of the Journal: 

Dear Sir:  —I am very much surprised to see the statement made by your London correspondent pass into your Journal without comment in regard to the discovery of anæsthesia. He states as follows: "Dr. Simpson has the reputation of having been the discoverer of anæsthesia like Dr. Harvey, they were really the men who brought the discoveries practically into use, and pointed out to us clearly and truthfully the modus operandi of the circulation and anæsthesia.1"The following are the facts in the case as to the " Discovery of the Art of Artificial Anæsthesia."

ANÆSTHETICS OF THE ANCIENTS.2  "The ancient Greeks, it is stated, possessed a plant called mandrake. It belonged to the same family of plants as the belladonna, or deadly nightshade. From the root of this plant was extracted, by means of wine, a narcotic which was employed

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