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Crawford W. Long’s Discovery of Anesthetic Ether: Mesmerism, Delayed Publication, and the Historical Record

Thomas, Ph.D. Roger K. (2004) Crawford W. Long’s Discovery of Anesthetic Ether: Mesmerism, Delayed Publication, and the Historical Record . In Proceedings Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Atlanta, GA, USA.

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Abstract

Recognition for the discovery of anesthetic ether has been contentious from the beginning. Crawford W. Long’s claim for priority, based on his first surgical use in 1842, may be the strongest. However, during most of the applicable history, greater recognition has gone to Thomas Morton, based on his first use in 1846. Morton’s was a public demonstration at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, whereas, Long’s was with a private patient in a rural hamlet, Jefferson, Georgia. Long’s contribution has been diminished and his reputation at times besmirched on the grounds that he did not publish his claim until 1849. Unfortunately and recently, in an apparently, generally, well researched book on the subject of the discovery of chemical anesthesia, Wolfe (2001) also diminished Long's contribution. The present paper examines some of the very good reasons why Long delayed his publication and why Wolfe and others were wrong in their assessments.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:discovery of anesthetic ether, anesthesia, hypnosis, mesmerism, Crawford W. Long
Subjects:Psychology > Hypnosis/Mesmerism
ID Code:207
Deposited By:Thomas, Roger K.
Deposited On:05 March 2004
Alternative Locations:http://www.arches.uga.edu/~rkthomas/LongSSPP.htm