Encyclopedia Article


A colorless and sweet-smelling flammable liquid, diethyl ether was used in the past as an inhaled general anesthetic. Due to its flammability, diethyl ether has been replaced by halogenated ethers or nitrous oxide in hospitals.

Photo Credit: 

"Illustrates the first use of ether as an anaesthetic in 1846 by the dental surgeon W.T.G. Morton," painted by Ernest Board in 1926, is licensed under Public Domain.

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