Ether Day: The Strange Tale of America's Greatest Medical Discovery and the Haunted Men Who Made It

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Oct 8, 2002 - History - 288 pages
2 Reviews

On Friday, October 16, 1846, only one operation was scheduled at Massachusetts General Hospital....

That day in Boston, the operation was the routine removal of a growth from a man's neck. But one thing would not be routine: instead of using pulleys, hooks, and belts to subdue a patient writhing in pain, this crucial operation would be the first performed under a general anesthetic. No one knew whether the secret concoction would work. Some even feared it might kill the patient.

This engrossing book chronicles what happened that day and during its dramatic aftermath. In a vivid history that is stranger than fiction, Ether Day tells the story of the three men who converged to invent the first anesthesia –– and the war of ego and greed that soon sent all three men spiraling wildly out of control.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Asperula - LibraryThing

Who knew that the popular use of ether as an anesthetic would be a story of such tragic characters whose lives would have so much pain because of that which brought so much relief to others? Ether in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Janzz - LibraryThing

I found most of the book seemed to consist of a description as to who first decided to use ether as an anaesthetic. I found this a trifle boring and confusing and did not finish reading the book. Read full review

Other editions - View all

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2002)

Julie M. Fenster, columnist for the Forbes magazine Audacity, has written articles for publications, including American Heritage, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. She is the author of the best-selling In the Words of Great Business Leaders, the comprehensive Everyday Money, and award-winning books on business history.

Bibliographic information