The Ether Monument, also known as The Good Samaritan, is a statue and fountain near the northwest corner of Boston's Public Garden, near the intersection of Arlington Street and Marlborough Street.Put Ether Monument and other Boston attractions into our Boston trip itinerary maker app , and watch your holiday take shape.
It commemorates the use of ether in anesthesia. Its design has been attributed to the Boston architect William Robert Ware and to the sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward. It is tall and is the oldest monument in the public garden.
The statue depicts a medical doctor in medieval Moorish-Spanish robe and turban—representing a Good Samaritan—who holds the drooping body of an almost naked man on his left knee. The doctor holds in his left hand a cloth, suggesting the use of ether that would be developed in centuries to come.
The anachronistic use of a Moorish doctor was probably intentional and served to avoid choosing sides in a debate that was raging at the time over who should receive credit for the first use of ether as an anesthetic. A handful of individuals had claimed credit for the discovery of anesthesia, most notably WTG Morton and Charles Thomas Jackson.
At the base of the statue are inscriptions explaining the significance of the discovery of the use of ether as an anesthetic. There are four inscriptions, which include biblical quotations from Isaiah 28:29 and Revelation 21:4:
Ether Monument Reviews
Right next to the Boston Commons is the Boston Public Garden and that’s where you can find the Ether monument. It’s worth the short trip to check it out before staring the freedom trail. more »
Thank you so much for educating our students. This was an amazing experience. We learned so much. Well worth it. more »
One of my favorite places to relax when visiting this area. Always calm and the monument itself stands for something truly incredible: the invention of modern anesthesia and to ease pain/suffering.
A well made Victorian era Monument to a very important medical and scientific achievement that has saved many lives.
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