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Researches Regarding the Morton Ether Inhaler at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

Haridas, Rajesh P. MBChB, FANZCA; Mifflin, Jeffrey A. MSLIS*

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e31829cc6d2
General Articles: Special Article

The Morton ether inhaler in the possession of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, was traced back to 1906 when the earliest known photograph of it was published. The authors believe that the inhaler was given by William T. G. Morton, MD, to J. Mason Warren, MD, in January 1847. The inhaler was acquired by the Warren Anatomical Museum at an unknown date, loaned to Massachusetts General Hospital in October 1946, and placed on permanent loan to Massachusetts General Hospital in April 1948. Many documents relating to the inhaler have disappeared, and it was only identified in 2009 as the inhaler that probably belonged to J. Mason Warren, MD. The inhaler is not believed to be the one that Morton used on October 16, 1846, at Massachusetts General Hospital. It is the only known example of a Morton ether inhaler with valves (excluding replicas or reproduction inhalers) and is probably of similar design to the inhaler that Morton used on October 16, 1846.

Published ahead of print September 13, 2013

From the *Archives and Special Collections Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Accepted for publication March 25, 2013.

Published ahead of print September 13, 2013

Funding: No funding was received by the authors for this research project.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints will not be available from the authors.

Address correspondence to Rajesh P. Haridas, MBChB, FANZCA, 234 Thirteenth St., Mildura, 3500, Victoria, Australia. Address e-mail to

© 2013 International Anesthesia Research Society