Ana Paz Aparicio

Ana Paz Aparicio

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Two nurses in the J. William White private operating room, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 1898, HUP SON Collection. Image courtesy of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing.

Two nurses in the J. William White private operating room, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, HUP SON Collection. Image courtesy of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing.

It took more than a half-century before dentists realized laughing gas could have medical applications. This epiphany occurred in less than professional circumstances.

Picture of an amputation in the operating theatre of old Saint Thomas Hospital, London, around 1775

Amputation in the Operating Room of St. Thomas Hospital, 1775 Visible on the left leg of the patient is a screw tourniquet.

Nitrous Oxide Gas Entertainment. See: http://pinterest.com/pin/287386019942393095/

Nitrous Oxide Gas Entertainment, ca. in the Social Events Collection. I literally just watched this on mysteries at the museum.

Chloroform Liniment by Dave Ward Photography, via Flickr. You can try that one too: http://pinterest.com/pin/287386019942965726/

Chloroform Liniment by Dave Ward Photography, via Flickr. You can try that one too: http://pinterest.com/pin/287386019942965726/

June 7, 1811: Born, James Young Simpson (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/287386019949111617). Simpson and his buddies discovered chloroform at one of their "drug parties" -- through the simple process of inhaling chemicals and seeing if they made them pass out. It soon became popular as an anesthetic, particularly for use during childbirth. Not everyone was a fan, however. After all, some felt, it was God's will for women to suffer during childbirth.

When asked at a great public meeting what his greatest discovery had been, he replied without hesitation: "That I have a Saviour." Sir James Young Simpson – Scottish doctor who pioneered Obstetrics and discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform.