About this artwork

An Edinburgh obstetrician, Sir James Young Simpson is famous for his discovery of the use of chloroform as an anaesthetic during surgery and childbirth. In 1847, whilst searching for a substitute for ether, known to have several disadvantages, Simpson and his assistants tried inhaling a sample of chloroform. Their immediate collapse and unconsciousness convinced them of the effectiveness of the substance as a sedative and painkiller, and within a week it had been successfully used during surgery.

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Robert Adamson

David Octavius Hill

Robert Adamson

David Octavius Hill