Georgia Historical Society Dedicates New Historical Marker to Dr. Crawford W. Long and Anesthesia for Surgery

Atlanta, November 2, 2018 - The Georgia Historical Society today unveiled a new historical marker to Dr. Crawford W. Long and Anesthesia for Surgery. The marker was sponsored by the Georgia Society of Anesthesiologists (GSA), the Crawford W. Long Museum Association, and the City of Jefferson.

Speakers for the event included the Honorable Steve Quinn, Mayor of Jefferson; Dr. William Hammonds, MD, MPH, and Emeritus Professor of Anesthesiology at Emory University; Janna Cleveland, President of the Crawford W. Long Museum Association; Maurice Gilbert, MD, from the Georgia Society of Anesthesiologists; and Elyse Butler, Marker Manager for the Georgia Historical Society.

“This was a start of a change in medicine that has relieved countless millions of people from the pain of surgery,” said Dr. William Hammonds, who provided a historical perspective on the history of anesthesia to the dedication attendees. “The development of anesthesia allowed medicine and surgery to leap forward and began its rapid acceleration through the rest of the 19th century and into the current era.”

For more information about the Crawford W. Long Historical Marker or the Georgia Historical Marker program please contact Patricia Meagher, Director of Communications, at (912) 651-2125, ext. 153.

The Marker Reads:

Dr. Crawford W. Long
and Anesthesia for Surgery

On March 30, 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long performed what is considered the first surgery using anesthesia at his medical office once located at this site. Using sulfuric ether, Long removed a cyst from the neck of James Venable before three witnesses. Venable reported feeling no pain during the procedure. With the proven ability to block pain, the use of sulfuric ether as an anesthetic increased the number of surgeries performed worldwide. Although modern anesthetics with fewer side effects have replaced sulfuric ether in the United States, Dr. Long’s discovery helped shape modern medicine by allowing for more complex surgical procedures. March 30 is now acknowledged as National Doctors’ Day in recognition of Dr. Long’s first use of anesthesia.


The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) administers Georgia’s historical marker program. Over the past 20 years, GHS has erected over 250 new historical markers across the state on a wide variety of subjects. GHS also maintains the more than 2,100 markers installed by the State of Georgia prior to 1998. Online mapping tools allow users to design driving routes based on historical markers, and a mobile app helps visitors locate and learn about markers nearby.Visit for more ways to use Georgia’s historical markers and experience history where it happened.

Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
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