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The Sad Tale of the Dentist Who Pioneered Anesthesia

Modern surgery would be very different without the numbing effects of anesthesia, and a dentist in New England was the first to experiment with its use. 

In 1844 Dr. Horace Wells and his wife attended a “laughing gas” demonstration in Hartford, Connecticut, where showman Gardner Colton called upon volunteers to try out the nitrous oxide. Wells noticed that one man didn’t react as he banged his leg against a bench while high from the gas. After the nitrous oxide wore off, the man had no memory of obtaining the bruises on his shins.

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