A year after co-discovering chloroform, Germany’s Justus Liebig synthesized its chemical cousin, the sedative chloral (hydrate), in 1832. Another German, apothecary Maximilian “Max” L. Frankenstein (1849 to 1898), immigrated to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to practice as a pharmacist (one of his Fort Wayne bottles, above). After then moving to Chicago to study at Rush Medical College, Frankenstein began sedating himself nightly, as a senior medical student, with chloral to combat insomnia. Discovered unconscious the morning of October 1, 1898, Frankenstein died less than 16 h later from his accidental chloral overdose. Could he have been saved, had he read Dracula? That novel was published in London before Max died, but not in America until after his passing. Indeed, while writing Dracula, author Bram Stoker had created one character who cautioned chloral users that they “should be careful not to let it grow into a habit.” (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology.)

A year after co-discovering chloroform, Germany’s Justus Liebig synthesized its chemical cousin, the sedative chloral (hydrate), in 1832. Another German, apothecary Maximilian “Max” L. Frankenstein (1849 to 1898), immigrated to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to practice as a pharmacist (one of his Fort Wayne bottles, above). After then moving to Chicago to study at Rush Medical College, Frankenstein began sedating himself nightly, as a senior medical student, with chloral to combat insomnia. Discovered unconscious the morning of October 1, 1898, Frankenstein died less than 16 h later from his accidental chloral overdose. Could he have been saved, had he read Dracula? That novel was published in London before Max died, but not in America until after his passing. Indeed, while writing Dracula, author Bram Stoker had created one character who cautioned chloral users that they “should be careful not to let it grow into a habit.” (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology.)

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.