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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 8 0 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Morton, William Thomas Green 1819-1868 (search)
Morton, William Thomas Green 1819-1868 Dentist; born in Charlton, Mass., Aug. 9, 1819. After studying dentistry in Baltimore in 1840, he settled in Boston (1842), where he successfully manufactured artificial teeth. While attending lectures at a medical college, he conceived the idea that sulphuric ether might be used to alWarren, ether was administered to a man in the Massachusetts General Hospital, from whose groin a vascular tumor was removed while the patient was unconscious. Dr. Morton obtained a patent for his discovery in November, 1846, under the name of Letheon, offering, however, free rights to all charitable institutions; but the governme from Congress remuneration for his discovery he and his family were left in poverty. Honorable medical men of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia assigned to Dr. Morton the credit of the great discovery — the most important benefaction ever made by man to the human race —and Samuel George Morton, M. D. said so by signing an a
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Wells, Horace 1815-1848 (search)
ucation and after learning dentistry began practice in his native city, in 1840; after long seeking a means of preventing pain while extracting teeth, he made several unsuccessful experiments with various substances, and then declared that the only efficient treatment was that of nitrous oxide. It was not, however, until Dec. 11, 1844, that he put this agent into practical use, by having a tooth extracted from his own mouth without feeling pain. He then began to use the gas in extracting teeth from other persons. He was the author of A history of the application of nitrous-oxide gas, ether, and other vapors to surgical operations. He died in New York City, Jan. 24, 1848. A bronze statue of Dr. Wells has since been erected in Bushnell Park, Hartford, bearing an inscription crediting him with the discovery of anesthesia, although his claims and those of Drs. Charles T. Jackson, John C. Warren, William T. G. Morton, and Gardiner Q. Colton, formed the cause of a notable controversy.