Wicked Good Guides / Boston for Visitors / What to see

Ether Dome

The Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital is one of Boston's more unusual destinations. Located at one of the world's most renowned hospitals, the Ether Dome is where Thomas W. G. Morton administered ether while Dr. John Collins Warren cut a tumor out of the neck of patient Gilbert Abbott on October 16, 1846.

Dispute rages to this day as to whether Morton was truly the first to administer ether.

In addition to the actual operating ampitheater, you can also gaze on a mural depicting that first anesthetized patient (many of the doctors in the mural are actually still alive - the mural was painted using likenesses of MGH doctors), a statue of Apollo, several Egyptian mummies and other curios.

Probably the best way to get there is to take the Red Line subway to Charles/MGH, follow the signs to the hospital's main entrance, then ask at the information desk. The Ether Dome is still occasionally used for medical meetings; it's close to the public then.

NOTE: If you're really fascinated by the history of ether, there's a monument to the drug in the Public Garden, near the Arlington Street side.


I will be in Boston October 8, 9, 10,11.
I would like to visit the Ether Dome, as I am an "old" Operating Room Nurse.

Can you advise if there are any times, during those days, that the Dome is housing a private meeting- thus not open to the public?

Thank you.

Peggy Wilchek on September 23, 2007 07:34 PM.

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