Sites Related to Crawford Williamson Long in Georgia

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Abstract

Background:

Crawford Williamson Long (1815 to 1878) was the first to use ether as an inhaled anesthetic for surgical operations. By not publishing his discovery for 7 yr, his pioneering work was largely overshadowed by that of Horace Wells (1815 to 1848), Charles Thomas Jackson (1805 to 1880), and William Thomas Green Morton (1819 to 1868). As a result, sites commemorating Long’s discovery are not offered the same recognition as those affiliated with Wells or Morton.

Methods:

We highlight sites in Athens, Danielsville, and Jefferson, Georgia, that honor the first man to regularly use ether as an anesthetic agent. Extensive site visits, examination of museum artifacts, and genealogical research were used to obtain information being presented.

Results:

Historic Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens is where Long and members of his family are buried. Established in 1856, it is closely linked to the history of Athens and the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia). The main site we describe is the Crawford W. Long Museum, located in Jefferson, Georgia, which opened to the public in 1957. It has undergone extensive renovations and holds an expansive collection of Long’s family heirlooms and personal artifacts. In addition, it displays an impressive art collection, depicting Long, surgical procedures, members of Long’s family, and homes associated with him. Visitors to the museum may also enjoy a walking audio tour that highlights the life of Long and his contribution to medicine.

Conclusions:

We provide information on sites and artifacts that honor Georgia’s most celebrated physician. Much of this has not been published before, and it is our hope that Crawford Williamson Long’s legacy receives the attention it richly deserves.

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