WLM ID: aiml | Catalog Record
The first successful public demonstration of ether for surgical anesthesia occurred with an inhaler much like this one, at Massachusetts General Hospital on October 16, 1846. William Thomas Green Morton (1819-1868), a dentist in Boston Massachusetts, was the person who administered the ether on that historic occasion. The glass sphere contained an ether-soaked sponge; the patient inhaled the vapor through the mouthpiece. News of the event spread rapidly and within a year of his demonstration dozens of European inhalers had been invented and patented.
A booklet describing the replica, simply titled "The Morton Inhaler," explains that this replica "was made from the original description of its physical attributes...and of its measurements as furnished by the courtesy of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Reproduced by a modern instrument maker under the aegis of the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, the project was made feasible by a grant-in-aid from Ayerst Laboratories.