Mailed in 1920, this postcard featured the humorous artistry of British cartoonist Donald McGill (1875–1962). Perhaps aptly named “Mr. Wrench,” McGill’s slim dentist (left) in this pictorial enquires whether his portly patient wants [laughing] gas. The latter indignantly countered (right) with “Gas? Certainly not! I can afford electric light!” As he often did, McGill fully exploited the ambiguity of the word “gas” for both illuminating (“natural gas”) and anesthetic (“laughing gas”) purposes. This postcard is part of the Wood Library-Museum’s Ben Z. Swanson Collection. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)

Mailed in 1920, this postcard featured the humorous artistry of British cartoonist Donald McGill (1875–1962). Perhaps aptly named “Mr. Wrench,” McGill’s slim dentist (left) in this pictorial enquires whether his portly patient wants [laughing] gas. The latter indignantly countered (right) with “Gas? Certainly not! I can afford electric light!” As he often did, McGill fully exploited the ambiguity of the word “gas” for both illuminating (“natural gas”) and anesthetic (“laughing gas”) purposes. This postcard is part of the Wood Library-Museum’s Ben Z. Swanson Collection. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)

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George S. Bause, M.D., M.P.H., Honorary Curator, ASA’s Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, Schaumburg, Illinois, and Clinical Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. UJYC@aol.com.