The right side of the “Tom Morton” cigar box label featured the U.S. Capitol Building (above). Never nicknamed “Tom,” perhaps ether pioneer William Thomas Green Morton (WTGM) should have been dubbed “Capitol Hill Bill” for all of the efforts by his advocates and himself to persuade the U.S. Congress to pass a “Capitol Hill bill.” Such a bill would have aimed to reward WTGM monetarily for popularizing ether as a general anesthetic. Lithographs of the faces of both WTGM and the Capitol Building were conveniently available to the Wisconsin printers (the Henschel Family) of this label. However, since WTGM’s friends referred to the etherist as “Willie” but never as “Tom,” linking a cigar called “Tom Morton” to WTGM seems a clumsy advertisement for reaching the smoking public. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)

The right side of the “Tom Morton” cigar box label featured the U.S. Capitol Building (above). Never nicknamed “Tom,” perhaps ether pioneer William Thomas Green Morton (WTGM) should have been dubbed “Capitol Hill Bill” for all of the efforts by his advocates and himself to persuade the U.S. Congress to pass a “Capitol Hill bill.” Such a bill would have aimed to reward WTGM monetarily for popularizing ether as a general anesthetic. Lithographs of the faces of both WTGM and the Capitol Building were conveniently available to the Wisconsin printers (the Henschel Family) of this label. However, since WTGM’s friends referred to the etherist as “Willie” but never as “Tom,” linking a cigar called “Tom Morton” to WTGM seems a clumsy advertisement for reaching the smoking public. (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.