Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, an unknown artist painted ca.1780 the Bard’s characters Duke Prospero (center), his daughter Miranda (left) and the spirit Ariel (right). Also from The Tempest, the brother of the King of Naples, Sebastian, observed that Prospero’s brother “dost snore distinctly; There’s meaning in … snores.” The author of Shakspeare [sic] and the Bible, nitrous oxide pioneer G.Q. Colton (1814–1898) used the snoring of partial airway obstruction to judge whether his Manhattan patients were anesthetized deeply enough by “Colton gas” for dental extraction. And quoting the title character from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Colton had no intent to administer “vapours … to strangle” or smother hapless patients. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology.)

Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, an unknown artist painted ca.1780 the Bard’s characters Duke Prospero (center), his daughter Miranda (left) and the spirit Ariel (right). Also from The Tempest, the brother of the King of Naples, Sebastian, observed that Prospero’s brother “dost snore distinctly; There’s meaning in … snores.” The author of Shakspeare [sic] and the Bible, nitrous oxide pioneer G.Q. Colton (1814–1898) used the snoring of partial airway obstruction to judge whether his Manhattan patients were anesthetized deeply enough by “Colton gas” for dental extraction. And quoting the title character from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Colton had no intent to administer “vapours … to strangle” or smother hapless patients. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology.)

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.