Although Dr. William Morton is usually associated with the use of ether, it is generally acknowledged that Dr. Crawford Williamson Long was the first to use the substance as an anesthetic. On March 30, 1842, after dripping sulphuric ether on a cloth and then having his patient inhale it, Dr. Long painlessly removed a tumor from the patient's neck. He did not publish his findings right away, however, allowing Dr. Morton to claim the distinction in 1846 after administering it for a tooth extraction. By then, Dr. Long, who was born on this date in 1815, had already completed eight successful operations using the anesthetic. By the time of his death in 1878, his claim to have been the first to use ether during surgery was generally recognized.
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