Horace Wells, pioneer of anaesthesia, 1844.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Print after an oil painting by Chas Noel Flagg of 1899. Horace Wells (1815-1848) was a dentist from Hartford in Connecticut, USA. Along with Crawford Long and William Morton, Wells is closely asociated with the discovery of inhalational anaesthesia. In December 1844, he discovered the anaesthetic qualities of nitrous oxide, two years before Morton conducted the first public demonstration of ether as an anaesthetic at Masachusetts General Hospital.