March 30, 1842: The First Ether Anesthetic

3/30/2007 by Clark Venable


"Although William T.G. Morton is well-known for performing his historic anesthesia on October 18, 1846 in Boston, Massachusetts, C.W. Long is now known to be the first to have used an ether-based anesthesia.

After observing the same effects with ether that were already described by Humphry Davy in 1800 with nitrous oxide, C.W. Long used ether the first time on March 30, 1842 to remove a tumor from the neck of his patient, Mr. James M. Venable. Long subsequently removed a second tumor from Venable and used ether anesthesia in amputations and childbirth. The results of these trials were published several years later (in 1849) after Morton's publication. "