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Boston: The Ether Dome

One of the most fascinating historic landmarks that we've visited since moving to Boston is the Ether Dome in the Bulfinch Building at Massachusetts General Hospital.

It was the hospital's first operating room in which ether (a highly volatile chemical) was used as a anesthetic on a patient with a tumor in his neck.  Dentist William Thomas Green Morton administered the ether to the patient, Edward Gilbert Abbot.  The tumor was removed by the dean of Harvard Medical School, John Collins Warren.

The best part of the story is when the dean turned to the medical audience and said,

"Gentlemen, this is no Humbug"

Which was a reference to the year before when a different type of anesthesia evoked cries of "HUMBUG!" from the patient.

The Ether Dome is one site we've been to several times and are always fascinated by the history and space. The surgical tools on display are also disturbing and worth a look.  The Ether Dome is highly recommended.   It's free and open to the public.


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Reader Comments (5)

I've been wanting to see this! Thanks for the pics; they've convinced me I must go!

January 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

The last pic is just great! Thanks for your kind comment :) xo

January 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterflorence

This is amazing! What a GORGEOUS space!!

Will have to put this on our list of things to do in Boston. How interesting...and sort of eerie!

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClair

It is rather eerie, but so worth a look.

January 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterSmita

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