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Mass General’s New Medical Museum

Fortunately for all of us, medical technology has leapt forward in the century and a half since William T.G. Morton performed the world’s first public surgery using ether in Massachusetts General Hospital’s surgical amphitheater (now called the Ether Dome). To celebrate these advances (and to remind uswhy we should never again complain about the relatively minor discomfort of the old “turn your head and cough” routine), MGH created the new Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation (2 North Grove Street, Boston, 617.724.8009), which opened in April. The 7,800-square-foot museum features relics like the glass-and-brass inhaler thought to be the one used in that historic ether surgery, as well as slasher-flick-worthy drills and saws used for brain surgery in the 19th century and, on a slightly less scary note, a cross that Florence Nightingale gave to the director of the MGH Training School for Nurses. All we can say is, thank God for progress.

_ Stuff Boston