Early inhaler for ether anaesthesia, London, England, 1847-1848

1847-1848 in London England and London
Weiss, John

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Early inhaler for ether anaesthesia, ether bottle connected by tubing to face mask, by Weiss of London, 1847-1848

Ether was first used as an anaesthetic in 1846 during the removal of a tooth. The dentist was William Thomas Green Morton (1819-1868), an American. This inhaler is adapted from Morton’s original. Morton called his invention the ‘Letheon Inhaler’ to keep the anaesthetising agent, ether, a secret and to control who used it.

Ether-soaked sponges were placed in the glass jar. Flexible rubber tubing connected the valve to the face mask so the patient could inhale the ether. The outlet valve has a glass tube attached so more ether can be put on the sponges if needed.


brass (copper, zinc alloy), cloth, complete, glass, metal, metal (unknown), rubber (unidentified), sponge, wood (unidentified)
overall - as displayed: 265 mm x 315 mm x 185 mm, 85 mm, 1.14 kg
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment

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