Wells at Harvard
Horace Wells travelled to Boston to share his discovery with John Collins Warren and George Hayward, and, in January 1845, he attempted a demonstration of painless tooth extraction before students and physicians at Harvard Medical School. He failed, however, to administer a sufficient dose of nitrous oxide to promote an anesthetic state and was humiliated—“several expressed their opinion that it was a humbug affair (which in fact was all the thanks I got for this gratuitous service).”
Wells made a second attempt privately that evening and was successful in achieving an anesthetic state.
In March 1847, Horace Wells published this brief pamphlet to assert his priority to the discovery of anesthesia in 1844, two years before the experiments of W. T. G. Morton and the Gilbert Abbott operation. The passage displayed recounts Wells' unsuccessful demonstration using nitrous oxide gas at Harvard.