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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > Washington O. Ayer Quotes

Washington O. Ayer
(18 Jul 1823 - 15 Feb 1899)

American surgeon who was a young Harvard medical student when he witnessed the first public demonstration of the use of ether in the operating room. After graduation, he practiced in Massachusetts, until 1849 he moved to California, where is served the mining community.

Science Quotes by Washington O. Ayer (1 quote)

Here the most sublime scene ever witnessed in the operating room was presented when the patient placed himself voluntarily upon the table, which was to become the altar of future fame. … The heroic bravery of the man who voluntarily placed himself upon the table, a subject for the surgeon’s knife, should be recorded and his name enrolled upon parchment, which should be hung upon the walls of the surgical amphitheatre in which the operation was performed. His name was Gilbert Abbott.
Description of the first public demonstration of ether at the Massachussetts General Hospital (16 Oct 1846).
— Washington O. Ayer
From the Semi-Centennial of Anesthesia, Massachusetts General Hospital (1897). In Logan Clendening, Source Book of Medical History (1960), 373.
Science quotes on:  |  Altar (11)  |  Amphitheatre (2)  |  Anesthesia (5)  |  Become (821)  |  Demonstration (120)  |  Ether (37)  |  Fame (51)  |  First (1302)  |  Future (467)  |  General (521)  |  Himself (461)  |  Hospital (45)  |  Knife (24)  |  Man (2252)  |  Most (1728)  |  Name (359)  |  Operation (221)  |  Patient (209)  |  Perform (123)  |  Present (630)  |  Record (161)  |  Scene (36)  |  Subject (543)  |  Sublime (50)  |  Surgeon (64)  |  Surgery (54)  |  Table (105)  |  Wall (71)  |  Witness (57)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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