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
- Loan, Wellcome Trust
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.