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October 11, 1965

WILLIAM T.G. MORTON (1819-1868) DEMONSTRATOR OF ETHER ANESTHESIA

JAMA. 1965;194(2):190-191. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090150082025
Abstract

In the summer of 1844, being in the practice of dentistry, and desirous to improve myself in chemical and medical knowledge, I studied in the office of Dr. Charles T. Jackson, of Boston, and in order to employ my time to the utmost advantage, I resided in his family. One day, in casual conversation upon my profession of dentistry, I spoke of the operation of destroying the nerve of a tooth.... Dr. Jackson said, in a humorous manner, that I must try some of his tooth-ache drops.... Dr. Jackson then added, that as this ether might be applied with advantage to sensitive teeth, he would send me some. The conversation then turned upon the effect of ether upon the system, and he told me how the students at Cambridge used to inhale sulphuric ether from their handkerchiefs, and that it intoxicated them, making them reel and stagger.

The successful application

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