The American Year-Book

Crippling arthritis forced anesthesiologist Francis H. McMechan, M.D. (1879-1939) into early retirement. He then threw his considerable energies into uniting this still-fledgling medical specialty. Among his many projects, he created and edited The American Year-Book of Anesthesia & Analgesia. This reprinted groundbreaking articles by prominent authors that had appeared in The Quarterly Supplement of Anesthesia & Analgesia, as well as in other journals published in the U. S. and abroad. The first volume of the Year-Book covered the year 1915. Dr. McMechan intended that it should grow into an encyclopedia for the use of surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists and research scientists. But the second volume, for the years 1919-1920, was also the last. Supported only by paid advertisements, the Year-Book failed to find a permanent backer. Dr. McMechan then turned to another venture, editing the new journal that would become Anesthesia & Analgesia. Today, the advertising supplements in each of the Year-Book's volumes provide a rare glimpse of the equipment and pharmaceuticals used by anesthesiologists at that time.