Sponge and Metal Mesh
Morton Ether Inhalers soon proved impractical for use with children because of the size of the mouthpiece. Experiments in 1847 with a cone-shaped sponge saturated with ether demonstrated the effectiveness of this simpler technique, which became a common practice for the next 25 years. This is the first sponge used to administer ether in surgery.
Anesthetists continued to try different approaches to giving ether to patients in preparation for surgery in the mid-nineteenth century. The cone-shaped mesh seen here was designed to hold a sponge or fabric soaked in ether. The mesh would have been inserted into a conical funnel through which the patient would breathe anesthetic fumes.