On October 16, 1846, Thomas WG Morton administered ether to the patient Gilbert Abbott, while Dr John Collins Warren cut a tumor from his neck. It was the first use of anesthesia in a surgical procedure and it happened in this domed operating room in Mass General Hospital. The dome is still used today for meetings and lectures, so it is sometimes closed to the public.

The dome looks like a typical, old-fashioned hall used for lectures and medical demonstrations, up to and including the skeleton hanging in the corner. There are a few other items to see, including a painting of the first anesthetized surgery.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Boston attractions

1. Otis House

0.28 MILES

This stern, Federal brick building was the first of three houses designed by Charles Bulfinch for Mr Harrison Gray Otis at the end of the 18th century…

2. West End Museum

0.29 MILES

This gem of a neighborhood museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of the West End and educating the public about the ramifications of unchecked…

3. Museum of Science

0.32 MILES

The educational playground that is the Museum of Science has more than 600 interactive exhibits. Favorites include the world’s largest lightning-bolt…

4. Museum of African American History

0.32 MILES

The Museum of African American History occupies two adjacent historic buildings: the African Meeting House, the country’s oldest black church and meeting…

5. Louisburg Square

0.35 MILES

There is no more prestigious address in Boston than Louisburg Square, a cluster of stately brick row houses facing a private park. Louisa May Alcott lived…

6. New England Sports Museum

0.38 MILES

The New England Sports Museum is not the best place to witness Boston's deep-rooted devotion to sport (try Fenway Park for that), but fans will enjoy the…

7. Nichols House Museum

0.38 MILES

This 1804 town house offers the rare opportunity to peek inside one of these classic Beacon Hill beauties. Attributed to Charles Bulfinch, it is unique in…

8. Acorn Street


This atmospheric cobblestone alleyway is Boston's famous narrowest street. It was once home to artisans and to the service people who worked for the…