|Happy Ether Day!|
What is this happy holiday and how do we celebrate it? It’s the anniversary of the first successful use of anesthesia, first done in 1846. Wikipedia points out the the chemistry challenged that the specific compound in question is dimethyl ether (CH3OCH3), and that ethers are a whole class of chemical compounds.
Here’s what the Palestine Herald reported on the sixty-second anniversary:
No word on whether or not the ceremonies involved getting high on ether. Five years later, the Washington Times wrote:“Ether Day” ObservedSpecial to the Herald.
Boston, Mass., Oct 16.—“Ether Day,” the sixty-second anniversary of the discovery of ether as a anaesthetic in surgery, was observed at the Massachusetts General Hospital today in pursuance of an annual custom inaugurated many years since. The chief feature of the observance was an address by Professor William H. Welch of Johns Hopkins University. The exercise were attended by many physicians and surgeons of wide prominence, including representatives of medical schools and hospitals throughout the country.
Clearly off a press release. Did you notice how similar the first sentence of each article was? It’s probably all the more evident when you have to type them. Here’s the first sentence with the changes in brackets. I’ve put the 1908 text first, then a slash and the 1913 text.“Ether Day” ObservedBOSTON. Oct. 16.—“Ether Day,” the sixty-seventh anniversary of the introduction of ether as a anesthetic in surgery, was observed at the Massachusetts General Hospital today in pursuance of an annual custom inaugurated many years ago. It was on October 16, 1846, that Dr. Thomas Morton, of the hospital staff, performed the first surgical operation on a patient under the influence of ether.
“Ether Day” Observed
Boston, [Mass., / ] Oct 16.—“Ether Day,” the sixty-[second/seventh] anniversary of the [discovery/introduction] of ether as a [anaesthetic/anesthetic] in surgery, was observed at the Massachusetts General Hospital today in pursuance of an annual custom inaugurated many years [since/ago].
|They kept going at it.|
Must be a great party.
I am happy to note that it seems clear that Massachusetts General Hospital still celebrates Ether Day. According to their website, in 1945, the day was transformed from a celebration of medical advances to a celebration of those who where recognized for their continuing service to MGH.
It is, of course, a day to be grateful if one has had any sort of surgery.
You can follow my blog on Twitter (@impofthediverse) or on Facebook. If you like this post, share it with your friends. If you have a comment just for me, e-mail me at email@example.com.
This blog runs solely on ego! Follow this blog! Comment on this post! Let me know that you want to read more of it!