The first operation using anaesthesia, 1846.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

The first operation using anaesthesia, 1846.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


A diorama, based on an original daguerreotype of the scene, showing John Collins Warren (1778-1856) performing the first surgical operation carried out with a general anaesthetic at the Masachusetts Hospital in Boston on 16 October 1846. Dr Thomas Morton (1819-1868), a pioneer in the field of anaesthesiology, administered the anaesthetic - sulphuric ether - and can be seen at the far end of the table holding a flask near the patient's face. Warren succesfully removed a tumour from the neck of the patient, Gilbert Abbot. Made by the Wellcome Institute Workshop, London.

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