The Angel of Anesthesia - Dentistry's Gift to Humanity

The following notice was published in the British Dental Journal on 2 February 1914:

"Mrs. Agnes Thomson, the first woman to inhale chloroform, was a niece of Sir J. Y. Simpson's wife, and, with her father, Commander Petrie, was present at 52, Queen Street, Edinburgh, on the eventful night, November 4, 1847, when the great discovery was made of the use of chloroform by Sir James (then Professor) Simpson. On that occasion (says the Morning Post), after Sir James and his assistants had recovered from the effects of the experimental doses upon themselves, Miss Petrie came forward to be experimented upon and proved a most happy subject under the influence of the drug, as, when falling asleep, she made the remark: “I am an angel, a beautiful angel! How are you all down there?”

At the chloroform parties held in those early days of the discovery Miss Petrie was often chloroformed to show the pleasing effects the drug had upon a patient. She invariably made the same remark about being an angel."