Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation
Visit the Ether Dome
Unfortunately the Ether Dome remains closed to the public. For a virtual tour of the Dome and the rest of the Bulfinch Building, click here.
The Ether Dome at Mass General
William T.G. Morton made history on October 16, 1846 in Massachusetts General Hospital’s surgical amphitheater, now known as the Ether Dome, when he demonstrated the first public surgery using anesthetic (ether).
Between 1821 and 1868, more than 8,000 operations were performed in the Ether Dome. Today it is a teaching amphitheater and historical landmark. Visitors can explore the unique architecture and a small collection of artifacts, including an oil painting of the famous first surgery, an Egyptian mummy and early surgical tools.
Creating the Ether Dome Painting
In this painting, Dr. John Collins Warren performs the first surgery without pain as William Morton administers ether.