Trip Planner:   USA  /  Massachusetts  /  Boston  /  Ether Monument

Ether Monument, Boston

4.8
#326 of 397 in Things to do in Boston
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.
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:
Put Ether Monument and other Boston attractions into our Boston trip itinerary maker app , and watch your holiday take shape.
Source
Create an itinerary including Ether Monument
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Ether Monument Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
8 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • 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 »
Google
  • 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.

Plan your trip to Boston

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Boston

View all >
4.8
Duration: 3​h
4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 2​h

Kid-friendly things to do in Boston

View all >
4.2
Duration: 1​h
4.2
Duration: 3​h
4.6
Duration: 2​h 30​min
3.8
Duration: 2​h

Historic Sites in Boston

View all >
4.7
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 1​h
4.6
Duration: 30​min
3.8
Duration: 30​min

Side trips from Boston

4.7
Duration: 4​h
4.9
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 2​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Hidden gems in Boston

4.4
Duration: 1​h
4.7
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.3
Duration: 1​h
4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Nearby attractions in Boston

4.7
Duration: 3​h
4.8
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.4
Duration: 3​h