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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, October 13, 1946, Image 46

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of Anesthesia
ONE HUNDRED year* ago
this week painless surgery
came into the world.
On the morning of Octo
ber 16.1846, Dr. John C. Warren re
moved a tumor from the neck of a
young woman rendered unconscious
by ether in the operating room of
the Massachusetts General Hospital
* at Boston.
Ever since, this operation has
been universally acclaimed as one
\ ef the most significant events in
By Thomas R. Henry
“ether drunks” held by students at
the University of Georgia and had
made use of the gas in an operation
on the finger of a Negro slave.
Unfortunately for Dr. Long’s repu
tation, the exploit received only
local publicity, nils was, for the
most part, unfavorable. The Georgia
doctor was even accused of dealings
with Satan. He was effectively dis
couraged from following up his
For a long time, the physiological
principles involved in anesthesia
were not understood and surgery
remairfed an extremely hazardous
procedure. Many deaths were due
to the anesthetic, rather than to
the knife. Administration of anes
thesia remained an art, rather
than an exact science, until Quite
recently, according to Dr. Donald
Stubbs, professor of anesthesiology
at George Washington University.
Says Dr. Stubbs:
“The last decade has been more
Dr. William T. G. Morton, Boston dentist, second from right, stands by after
administering ether for one of the first successful surgical operations on a patient
, with the use of the drug at the Massachusetts General Hospital in October, 1846. Dr.
John C. Warren performed the operation. ~wide World Photo*
human history. Previously surgery
had been a thing of horror, difficult
even to imagine. There are numer
ous accounts in medical literature,
such as: #
“She is brought into the amphi
theater and laid upon the table.
With merciful regard for the in
tensity of the agony she is to suffer,
opiates and stimulants have been
freely given her. She is enjoined
to be calm and to keep quiet and
still and, with assistance at hand to
hold her struggling form, the opera
tion is commenced.
“But of what avail are all her at
tempts at fortitude? At tha first
clear, crisp cut of the scalpel,
agonizing screams burst from her
and, with-convulsive struggles, she
endeavors to leap from the table.
But force is nigh. Strong men
pinion her limbs. * 8hriek after
shriek make their horrible way into
the stillness of the room, until the
heart of the boldest sinks into his
bossom like a lump of lead.”
Hartford Dentist
Used Laughing Gas
This was far from an unusual
picture before 1846. Twelve years
before a Hartford, Conn., dentist.
Horace Wells, had begun the use of
nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, for
‘ tooth pulling. He is regarded as the
first man to have made use of any
anesthetic. He had been inspired
to try the gas after attending a
lecture at which the speaker had
allowed members of the audience to
inhale nitrous oxide. He noticed
that those under its influence
seemed insensible to the pain of
stumbling against furniture.
Unfortunately one oi ms nrsi
patients died in the chair. The
anesthetic was blamed. Wells with
drew from practice and committed
suicide. He had a partner named
William Morton. Morton moved to
Boston and continued to practice
dentistry and enrolled as a student
at the > Harvard Medical School.
There he met Dr. Charles Jackson
who told him that ether had effects
much like nitrous oxide and that
Inhaling its fumes caused an “ether
It occurred to Morton that the
gas might be used as an anesthetic.
He tried it out on a pet dog, then
on himself. Finally he used it, with
complete success, to pull a patient’s
tooth. Only then did he suggest
its use to Dr. Warren. The latter
was highly skeptical, but agreed to
the experiment.
The patient was carried into the
amphitheater. There stood the
guards whose duty it was to hold
her on the table during the agonies
of the operation. Morton did not
appear. After waiting a few minutes,
Warren prepared to go ahead In
the usual fashion.
Professional Opinion,
‘This Is No Humbug’
"As Dr. Morton has not arrived I
presume he is otherwise engaged,”
he remarked sardonically.
Just then Morton came in. He
administered the gas. The woman
did not struggle or scream as the
operation proceeded. At its con
clusion, Warren turned to the
spectators and said simply:
"Gentlemen, this is no humbug.”
Thus was introduced to the world
one of the greatest boons ever given
the human race. Then came a
fierce controversy. Jackson, who
admittedly had suggested to Morton
the use of ether, claimed all the
credit. The same man disputed
with Morse the invention ,of the
telegraph. Morton died of apoplexy
a few years later, his death hastened
by the controversy.
It is now generally admitted that
the actual first use of ether as an
anesthetic was by Dr. Crawford W.
Long of Athens, Ga., several years
earlier. Long had got the idea from
great discovery and it was the work
of Morton which first introduced
ether anesthesia to the world.
Shortly afterward, chloroform was
introduced as an anesthetic in Eng
land and long remained a rival of
ether, especially in obstetrics, to
which it was more adapted.
important than all which went be
fore in this specialty. No surgical
specialty has made more progress
in recent years. It embraces a
larger part of the preoperative and
postoperative care, the selection of
the anesthetic agent and the method
of its administration, gas therapy
In the modern method of administering anesthesia,
the patient is given ether by the anesthetist with the
use of the mask, breathing bag and a means of absorb
ing carbon dioxide. _
Dr. William T. G. Mor
ton, first to use ether in a
major operation, and who
will be honored on the
100th anniversary of an
esthesia next Wednesday.
—Wido World.
and resuscitation and diagnostic
and therapeutic nerve blocks. It
often includes intravenous support
ing care with blood and plasma.
“Anesthesiology is now attracting
first-class men in greater numbers
than was possible when the anes
thetic was administered by tech
nicians under the complete control
and responsibility of the surgeon.
This is enlarging the team work
between surgeon and anesthetist.
Dawn of New Century
Promises^ Better Results
"The first 100 years of anesthesia
have been called ‘the century of
painless surgery.’ What the new
anesthesiology promises today, at
the dawn of the new century, is
the realization of safe anesthesia.
In our poor hospitals, using old
| fashioned methods, we have an
average of one death on the oper
ating table in every 300 surgery
cases. In those few of our hospitals
which have brought their operating
rooms in line with the new anesthe
siology. we have an average of one
death for every B.000 cases.”
wasmngion noepnaia siana mgn
in this respect. Emergency Hospital,
for example, was one of the first in
the country to lay down the rule
that only physicians with special
training be allowed to handle anes
thesia. It prohibited surgeons from
acting as their own anesthetists and
made it compulsory that a physi
cian-anesthetist must attend each
patient throughout an operation.
As a result, in the past six years,
there have been only three deaths
on the operating table in 23,000
surgery cases.
Analysis of Deaths
Made by Surgeons
A recent issue of Anesthesiology,
official organ of the American
Society, contains an analysis pre
pared by local doctors of 47 deaths
under anesthesia in 10 Washington^
hospitals in two years.
Thirty-nine of these deaths are
attributed directly to the anesthesia,
rather than -to the surgery.
The three experts say: “It is noti
too much to say that very few
anesthesias progress for more than,
a few minutes in average hands
without some degree of lack of
oxygen, or cerebral anoxia. Com
plete cerebral anoxia for 10 seconds
produces unconsciousness; 20 to 30
seconds causes cessation of brain
waves; three to five minutes
! produces irreversible pathological
change in the cerebrum."
These conditions have repercus
sions all through the system which
may easily prove fatal.
By John Clagott Proctor
The 43d official World Series
is romping to a close-fought finish,
marking the official end of the base
ball season for 1946, and jtlrring
memories of other years in which
Washington had a part in determin
ing the championship. As the cur
tain falls on America's top sport for
this season, shades of the past crowd
recollections of many, for baseball
in Washington has 86 years of re
corded history. The years 1924,
1925 and 1933 stand out in the an
nals of professional baseball, when
the Senators bid for fame. They
finished fourth in the Amercan
League this year, but probably did
much better than predecessors of
bygone days, whose prowess was
faithfully recorded in early sports
stories of The Star.
In Washington baseball goes back
to ante bellum days, and there are
some very bright as well as very
dark spots in its history. On No
vember 4, 1859, The Star published
an account of what was probably
the first baseball club organized in
Washington. It says:
“A baseball club has just been
formed in this city and promises to
prove an efficient organization. It;
is called the ‘Potomac,’ has 21 mem
bers, with McLane Tilton as presi
dent: Leonard C. Gunnell as vice
president, and Richard B. Irwin as
secretary. It is a good sign to see
such health- promoting exercises
taking the place of insipid ener
vating amusements."
The National Club could not have
been far behind the Potomacs, for
in The Star of May 7, 1860, we find
recorded a contest between these!
teams, and the reporter was good
enough to tell us what part of the
city the clubs hailed from—the Na
tional Club from Capitol Hill and
the Potomac Club from the first
ward, which subsequent to 1820 in
cluded the area west of Fifteenth
street to Rock Creek.
Baseball Teams of Bygone
40-to-24 Defeat
Followed by Banquet
In the early days of the sport the
team that made 21 runs first won
the game, but this particular game
was allowed to go to the acore of
35 to 15, as the following account
“Baseball—A game of baseball was
played on Saturday last on the Mall
between the Potomac Club of the
first ward and the National Club
of Capitol Hill, in which the latter
club was worsted, 35 to 15, in seven
innings. The Potomac Club has
challenged a club in Baltimore to
play a match gbme here on the 6th
of June next, and it was understood
the National Club accepted the
challenge, which gave only 4S hours'
notice to prepare in, more to get
the first warders in good play for
the coming match with Baltimore
than to exhibit its own skill. The
Capitol Hill Club has only been or
ganized lately, and is composed of
novices, while the Potomac Club has
in its ranks several first-rate per
formers, who understand the game
perfectly and have had much prac
The writer turned the pages to
June 7, 1860, and there found the
result, 40 to 24, the Nationals being
on the short end and the Excelsiors
of Baltimore the victors. Here is
The Star's report of the game:
"The friendly match between the
Potomac Baseball Club of this city
and the Excelsior Club of Baltimore
came off on the grounds south of
the President’s Mansion yesterday
afternoon. Quite a number of visi
tors were present and witnessed the
sport and were highly pleased with
the game throughout, the opposing
The National baseball team of 1878-9. Front row (from left), John White, Bab*
Trott, Myrtle, Oscar Balaski, Derby, and John Hollingshead; standiiig, Phil Baker,
Jack Lynch, Elliott and McClellan.
clubs bearing their defeats with the
most perfect equanimity. The Ex
celsior came out winner at the close
of the game. At night they partook
of a rich entertainment prepared
for them by Gunther at the order
of the Potomac Club. We under
stand the Baltimore club made 40
runs to 24 by the Washington club.”
Evidently the baseball season was
about as long then as it is at pres
ent, for on September 11 of the
same year we find two local teams—
the Nationals and the Potomac*—
crossing bats. The Star, always In
the case, since from the very begin
ning members of the fair sex have
been enthusiastic rooters whenever
it was known that two good clubs
would meet, and for verification we
submit what The Star said Septem
ber 8, 1860:
“We are much pleased to see that
this manly sport, until lately con
fined to the North and East, is be
ginning to be duly appreciated in
our Southern cities. Combining
grace, quickness and strength in the
requisites for a good player, it gives
an amount of open-air exercise that
The Nationals of 1882. In foreground, reclining, Wil
liam E. Wist and Phil Baker;, sitting, Frank Shriner,
William Warren White, Thomas Evers, Clay Barclay and
Aloysius C. Joy; standing, Maurice Pierce, Charles H.
Kalbfus and George Noble. »
terested in local matters, grew;
rather enthusiastic in its account
of the forthcoming game, as pub
lished on September S, and went;
out of its way—86 years ago—to;
make a prediction which time ha*;
fulfilled to the fullest—and baseball!
is, and probably always will be, the ■
American “national game."
Some folks also seem to think
that the attention given by the|
ladies to the game is a matter of;
decent years, but the account which:
follows shows this to be fgr from;
can oe ODtainea in no omer game
that we know of, and In a com
munity where the large majority of
the young men lead so sedentary
lives, as in Washington, it has long
been * desideratum. Last spring
the Potomac Club—which is the
pioneer organization of the South
—played several interesting and
closely contested matches which
gave a great impulse to the game
and now we have here three thor
oughly organized clubs—the Po
tomac, Nationals and Pythians—be
The National Symphony Brings Back Some Memories
WHEN Dr. Hans Kindler
raises his baton Wednes
day evening and launches
the National Symphony j
Orchestra’s 16th season there will
be some in the audience who will
think back beyond the present
orchestra to 1902. In that year a
symphony orchestra was organized
in the Capital with hopes it would
be permanent, hopes that were
disappointed. ’
Those who attended that long-ago
concert may recapture the moments
of pleasure they experienced when
the “Washington Symphony Or
chestra” gave its first concert at the
"New National Theater” at 4:15
o'clock Monday afternoon, April 28,
Early Efforts to Found
A Permanent Orchestra
They may think also of that con
cert as a valiant but, in the end,
unsuccessful attempt found a
permanent orchestra. It was an
effort, however, which finally came
to fruition with the founding of the
present orchestra in 1931. The last
years have seen the sound develop
ment of the present organization,
winning an audience which looks on
Dr. Kindler and the musicians he
directs as a group of pleasant
friends from whom the utmost in
enjoyment will be derived.
A program of that 1902 concert,
conducted by Reginald De Koven
and with Ignace Jan Paderewski as
soloist, is treasured in the files of
the National Symphony Orchestra
On the back page of the four
page leaflet is a list—a “partial
list"—of guarantors and subscribers.
Among them are a few names of
persons who support the present or
chestra or whose sons or daughters
are among the orchestra’s sup
Near the top of the page is listed
“Mr. E. Berliner,” the late Emile
Berliner, a widely known Washing
tonian. Turn to the rosters of the
present National Symphony Or
chestra Association and you will
find the names of Mr. and Mrs.
Milton W. King in the list of spon
sors. Mrs. King is .the daughter of
Mr. Berliner; Mr. King is not only a
sponsor but the treasurer of the
Also patrons of the orchestra
are Mr. and Mrs. Henry A. Ber-,
liner; Mr. Berliner is a son of Emile
Mrs. King, when told recently of
the old program listing her father's
name, was not surprised at his
identification with the first sym
phony orchestra in the Capital.
Among the Orchestra’*
Earliest Patrons
“We were all brought up on music,”
she said. “My father not only en
joyed it but he was the inventor of
the disc talking machine which ulti
mately became the Victor phono
graph. The new records naturally
came to the house.”
Another listed as a guarantor of
that initial concert was “Mr. J.
Sanders,” whom many will recog
nize as Joseph Sanders, vice presi
dent of the Bank of Commerce and
Savings arid one of the sustainers
of the present orchestra.
Mr. Sanders has a faint recollec
tion of that long-ago concert he
fostered and attended. “We hoped
to get an orchestra started at that
time,” he said. “It was quite an
event; we tried to make it so.”
Mr. Sanders has long enjoyed
good music, a taste he shared with
the late Mrs. Sanders who was Miss
Hannah Berliner, another daughter
of Emile Berliner.
The late Maj. Duncan C. Phillips
is another who was, on that 1902 list
of guarantors. His son, Qpnean
Phillips, founder and director of the
Phillips Memorial Gallery, and Mrs.
Phillips are listed as patrons of the
present orchestra.
Mr. Phillips said his father no
doubt was interested in that early
effort to found a symphony orchestra
here as he was interested In all
civic affairs. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips
have been subscribers to the present
orchestra's concerts since their’in
Another person who actually was
at that 1902 concert is Mrs. Christian
Heurich, who is one of the box
holders for the forthcoming series
of Wednesday evening concerts and
is also on the roster of donors.
Mrs. Heurich was listed among the
1902 guarantors as “Mrs. Amelia
Heurich,” but she believes that was
a mistake.
"I must have sent in the check
myself,” she said. “But it should
have been ‘Mr. and Mrs. Christian
Heurich.’ Both of us always were
interested in music and we did
everything together.” Of the con
cert she said:
“I think I remember that. I heard
By Francis P. Douglas
Paderewski every time he came here
and I really think that was the first
time.” She also recalled that she
and her late husband met Mr. De
Another who was listed as a
guarantor of that initial concert is
Mrs. Cuno H. Rudolph of the
Dresden Apartments. The late Mr.
Rudolph served as Commissioner of
the District for 18 years.
It Has Done Wonderful
^Things for the City
“I presume I was there,” Mrs.
Rudolph said. “Paderewski was one
of my favorites. I have always been
interested in music here in Wash
ington. I don't go to concerts now
as much as I used to, but I feel that
the symphony orchestra under Dr.
Kindler has done wonderful things
for the city."
The concert of April 28, 1902, ap
parently was the only one that
spring, but five more were promised
for the succeeding season. A state
ment in that first program said, “A
canvass was made of all available
professional talent and it is a pleas
ure to state that this city abounds
with first-class musicians who, in
order to produce the very beat
orchestral music,‘need only to be
brought together and regularly re
At the initial concert of the next
season, December 9, 1902, Oride
Musin, Belgian violinist, was soloist.
Ossip Oabrilowitsch, pianist, was
soloist on January 9,1903. Hie pro
gram for that concert promised that
at the next three concerts the
soloists would be Mme. Fritaie
Scheff, then with the Orau Opera
Company; Mme. Fanny Blumfield.
Zeisler, pianist, and Ben Davis, Eng
lish tenor. Hie present orchestra
organization does not have the pro
grams for those three concerts, but
it does have one for the first popular
concert given Sunday evening, April
j 12, 1903.
Apparently that was about the
sum of the accomplishments under
Mr. De Koven. Next came a few
concerts in 1906 conducted by Hein
rich Hammer and, in the 1920s, a
brief series conducted by Kurt Het
zel. Orchestras from other cities
visited Washington, but the Capital
did not have its own orchestra until
the next decade.
Hie subsequent story is more fa
mily. In 1930 a group of musicians
formed a co-operative organization
under the name National Symphony
Orchestra, and gave three concerts.
Hie first conductor was Rudolf
Dr. Hans Kindler directing the National Symphony Orchestra during themaking of affording at Comtitu
tion Hall. The orchestra will open its 16th season next Wednesday.
* A
Schueller. The conductor of the last
two concerts was Dr. Kindler—and
Dr. Klndler stayed.
The next year, INI, with the
country sinking deeper into the eco
nomic depression, the beginning was
made with M contributors to a sus
taining fund and 70 musicians. Now
the contributors number into the
thousands. The orchestra was sub
sequently increased to 80 musicians,
then to 90, and this year the goal of
100 has been reached.
The National Symphony’s
Real Beginning
But to go back to that historic
concert of 1902. Hie Star said the
next day that the new organization
had started off brilliantly, adding,
“Its work justified the fondest hopes
St the friends of the enterprise. It
was greeted by a large and distin
guished audience which was of the
most friendly disposition.
Hie distinguished audience, in ad
dition to those whose names al
ready have been given, no doubt
included these who were also
named as subscribers: Mrs. West
inghouse, Mrs. Thomas Nelson Page,
Mrs. L. Z. Letter, Mrs. H. C. Lodge,
Mrs. A. Lisner, Chief Justice Mel
ville W. Puller and Justice E. D.
White, who later was Chief Justice.
The Star noted that the George
town Orchestra had played sym
phonies for many years, but that
the new organization started out
with the symphony as the basis oi
its operations. Paderewski played
Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto’
and “was compelled to bow ac
knowledgment to applause after
each movement and at the end was
recalled again and again.”
Concerning Mr. De Koven, Th<
Star said the concert had demon
strated “that a man who has here
tofore been considered merely as
a composer of light opera has de
veloped a masterly power of organi
zation. a versatility of reading and
a control over players that makes
him a conductor of force and au
Mr. De Koven was presented i
wreath of laurels “with flowing rib
bons.” Were he to return next
Wednesday he might be disposed U
share those laurels with the goodlj
group which has made the Nations:
Symphony the sound institutior
which it is today.
side a host of minor organizations.
On Tuesday next the Potomacs
again try their skill against the Na
tional Club. We are Informed by
amateurs that these clubs are both
in fine playing condition and were
never more evenly matched than
now, and we advise all anxious to
see a closely fought and exciting
game to be present at sharp 2 on
Tuesday. The Potomac Club at its
last matches cared well for the
softer sex and gave them as good
accommodations as the nature of
things allowed, to say nothing of the
good-looking ‘committee of five’ who
looked so gallant and so warm. They
were rewarded, too, for all—or
nearly all—the ladies of Washing
ton lent their presence to encour
age their champions. With the nat
ural charms that the game itself
possesses, and with the added im
pulse that encouragement from the
sex everywhere gives to the arms of
young Amercia, we hope yet to see
baseball here what cricket is in
England—the national game.”
Chamois Leather Gaiters
Fashion Note for Team
The game came off as scheduled,
and The Star in its writeup placed
in history not only one of our earli
est baseball contests, but recorded
for all times the names of the play
ers who took part in the contest,
and besides gave a description of
the costumes worn by the players,
a matter the historian appreciates,
since old accounts of current events
are rarely satisfying as to details.
This is The Star s account of the
i game:
"Base Ball—The Match Game Be
tween the Potomac and National
Clubs—An exciting match game be
I tween the first nine of the Potomae
and National Clubs was played yes
terday afternoon on the grounds of
the Potomac Club, situated south of
the President s House. For some,
time previous to the commence
; ment of the game the executive |
committee charged with the duty of
receiving invited guests were ac
tively engaged in that capacity, and
at the time set for the game to be
gin a large crowd of ladies and gen
tlemen had assembled to witness the
; exciting sport about to ensue. The
opposing nines were as follows; On
the part of the National—Messrs.
Brown, Hibbs, Gorman, French,
Dooley, Beale, Wright, McCanant,
Benner. On the part of the Poto
mac—Messrs. Smedberg, Bigger,
Robinson, Trook, Hartley, Wood,
Mitchell, Camp, Wise.
"The preparations having been
perfected, the word was given to
play, and the boys went at it
i in fine style. The playing was
good on both sides, many fine
strikes, runs and catches being
made. On the part of the Potomac
Club, Messrs. Wood. Trook. Hart
ley and Bigger batted exceedingly
well, and Mr. Mitchell exhibited i
splendid running, often making m '
base while the uall was passing
from the thrower to the catcher.
"Of the National Club, Messrs.
: Wright, Hibbs. Gorman and Brown
made excellent strikes and very
fine runs. The best catch of the
day was made by Mr. Dooley of the
Nationals, a fly catch in the left
field from a splendid strike by
Mitchell. Messrs. Hibbs and Bigger
won golden opinions on all hands
as easy and even pitchers; wljile .
| the catchers—Messrs. Smedberg and
i Gorcaan—occupied their difficult
! posts with honor.
"National—Brown, lb.; Hibbs, p.;
Gorman, c.; French, 2b.; Dooley, If,;
I Beale, cf.; Wright, as.; McCanant,
3b.; Benner, rf.; McCormick, scorer,
“Potomac—Smedberg, e.; Bigger,
p.; Robinson, lb.; Trook, as.; Hart
| ley, 2b.; Wood, 3b.; Mitchell, If.;
Champ, rf.; Wise, cf.; R. B. Irwin,
| scorer.
“Umpire—J. F. Bean of Bxeelsior j
Club of Baltimore.
“We give below a score of the \
game as furnished us by a member I
of the committee.
“National .317 011 163
•Potomac . 383 375 331
Total Innings.
“Potomac _ 38
“National . 33
“Potomac won by 16 runs.
“Distance from base to base, 30
1 "At the conclusion of the game
each club gave three hearty cheers
and a ‘tiger’ for the other, and then
both clubs united in giving three
hearty cheers for the umpire for
his impartial conduct throughout
the game. Mr. Gorman of the Na
tionals then delivered the trophy of
victory (the ball used in the game)
to the victorious Potomacs, which
was received with appropriate re
marks by Mr. Smedberg.

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