WILLIAM THOMAS GREEN MORTON
The first public demonstration of surgical anesthesia took place on October 16, 1846, at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Morton, a practicing dentist and a medical student at Harvard, administered ether at an operation performed by Dr. John C. Warren. After he patented the method of administering ether, which he named “Letheon,” Morton found himself caught in a bitter controversy over whether he discovered ether or was merely the first to demonstrate it publicly. During the Civil War, he joined General Grant’s troops and applied anesthesia to more than 2,000 wounded soldiers.