The First Anesthetic
The Story of Crawford Long

Frank Kells Boland


"The discovery of surgical anesthesia by Crawford W. Long ever stimulates interest and enthusiasm among those interested in the history of medicine. Boland has written the events relating to the discovery of the use of ether by Long in a sprightly style that captivates the imagination of the reader."
—John C. Krantz Jr., Quarterly Review of Biology

In 1846 William Thomas Green Morton (1819-1868) performed the first publicly-witnessed surgery to use ether as an anesthetic when he removed a neck tumor from a patient at Massacusetts General Hospital. News of the dramatic event quickly spread and Morton was erroneously credited with discovering the procedure. Few people at the time knew that Crawford W. Long (1815-1878), a physician from Danielsville, Georgia, was the true pioneer of this important medical advancement. In 1950 Frank Kells Boland published The First Anesthetic, tracing the history of Long's first discoveries and uses of anesthesia and calling for wider recognition of his achievements.

Page count: 172 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $23.95

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Frank Kells Boland was a medical history scholar who served as Chairman of the Committee on Medical History of the Medical Association of Georgia. After publishing The First Anesthetic he served as President of the Crawford Long Memorial Association.