A Baystater by birth, Dr. Hezekiah N. Stratton (1822 to 1869) flourished as a pioneer dentist in New York. He opened his Brooklyn dental office on Atlantic Avenue in 1846, the same year that dentist W. T. G. Morton publicly demonstrated surgical etherization. From the Wood Library-Museum’s Ben Z. Swanson Collection, a cleaned-up version of Dr. Stratton’s office stationery depicts a patient reception area (upper left) above a patient undergoing dental treatment. Extracted from a bill written in Dr. Stratton’s hand, the “3.00” dollar charge (middle right; about $50 in today’s U.S. currency) for “Chloroform” (lower right) included the extraction of two teeth. The dentist’s moderately high prices for dentistry and anesthesia funded his donations of time, treasure, and both dental and anesthetic services to the “Orphan Asylums” of New York City. About 3 yr after composing this chloroform bill, Stratton died suddenly at 46 yr old. He left his community of Brooklyn mourning the loss of their Robin Hood of dentistry and anesthesia. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology.)

A Baystater by birth, Dr. Hezekiah N. Stratton (1822 to 1869) flourished as a pioneer dentist in New York. He opened his Brooklyn dental office on Atlantic Avenue in 1846, the same year that dentist W. T. G. Morton publicly demonstrated surgical etherization. From the Wood Library-Museum’s Ben Z. Swanson Collection, a cleaned-up version of Dr. Stratton’s office stationery depicts a patient reception area (upper left) above a patient undergoing dental treatment. Extracted from a bill written in Dr. Stratton’s hand, the “3.00” dollar charge (middle right; about $50 in today’s U.S. currency) for “Chloroform” (lower right) included the extraction of two teeth. The dentist’s moderately high prices for dentistry and anesthesia funded his donations of time, treasure, and both dental and anesthetic services to the “Orphan Asylums” of New York City. About 3 yr after composing this chloroform bill, Stratton died suddenly at 46 yr old. He left his community of Brooklyn mourning the loss of their Robin Hood of dentistry and anesthesia. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology.)

Close modal

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