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A.J. Wright, M.L.S.

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
Director, David Chestnut, M.D., Section on the History of Anesthesia
School of Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham

December 2012


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© 2012 by A.J. Wright

All rights reserved.
Permission is given to use all or portions of this calendar
 for non-commercial uses provided author credit is given.


This calendar includes a small selection of items related to the history of anesthesia, pain and pain management, and critical care medicine. Suggestions for additions, corrections, etc. can be sent to A.J. Wright at  This resource was added to the Librarians’ Internet Index in August, 2006; the LII is now a part of the Internet Public Library at

This modest effort is dedicated to the memory of Patrick Sim, M.L.S., a friend, colleague and mentor for many years.


 Many items in this calendar were found in Pasquale Accardo's The Medical Almanac. Humana Press, 1992

Great Britain’s History of Anaesthesia Society has a timeline at 

"Anesthesia's Great Awakenings" by Betty J. Bamforth, M.D., was published in the Anesthesia History Association Newsletter 8(1):14-15, January 1990

An extensive "A Chronology of Events Relating to Anesthesiology and Allied Subjects" can be found in Keys TE. The History of Surgical Anesthesia. Huntington , New York : Krieger, 1978 [rep. 1945 ed.], pp 103-125


A "Calendar of interesting and important events in the history of medicine and anaesthesia" can be found in Bushman GB, Davies NJH, Atkinson RS. A Short History of Anaesthesia: The First 150 Years. Butterworth-Heinemann, 1996, pp. 180-200


John S. Lundy’s Clinical Anesthesia [1942] has an appendix with a chronological listing of important events in anesthesia history from 4000 B.C. to 1941 A.D.


The chapter "History of Neural Blockade and Pain Management" by David L. Brown and B. Raymond Fink in Cousins MJ, et al, eds. Neural Blockade in Clinical Anesthesia and Management of Pain 3rd ed 1998 pp 3-32 contains five chronologies: "Ideas Concerning Pain and Neural Blockade," "Local Anesthesia," "Local Anesthetic Agents," "Individual Neural Blockade Techniques," and "Study of Complications of Neural Blockade" 


“The Chronology of Events in the History of Nitrous Oxide” is available in Heironimus TW. History of Nitrous Oxide. In: Nitrous Oxide, Eastwood DW, ed. Clinical Anesthesia, volume 1, 1964, pp 2-8


The AANA's "Through the Years in Nurse Anesthesia History" is available at  


For medical history, see A Chronology of Medicine and Related Sciences by Leslie T. Morton and Robert J. Moore, Ashgate, 1997 and The Timetables of Medicine: An Illustrated Chronology of the History of Medicine from Prehistory to Present Times by John Cule and Roy Porter, Leventhal, 2000

Today in Health History [from Aetna] is available at  

Illustrations are taken from Wikipedia unless otherwise noted. I have written all entries unless otherwise noted.

Months in the Calendar: