State University of Iowa (UI) launches its School of Medicine.

  • 1890

    Dr. John Mullen, "Anesthetizer", teaches anesthesia to nursing students in the Gynecological School.


    UI hires its first resident physician anesthetist (possibly the first in the U.S.), Lewis William Harding.


    Mary Ross, an intern under Lewis William Harding, becomes the first known U.S. physician to complete anesthesia residency as a medical specialty.


    Dorothy Dimond, MD, who interned under Mary Ross, becomes head of Division of Anesthesia.


    Stuart Cullen, MD, becomes chief of anesthesiology in 1938; in 1939, he becomes the 55th person in the U.S. to be board-certified in anesthesia.

  • 1949

    Wool pants cause an explosion of diethyl ether in an operating room, perforating the anesthetist's eardrum and causing a pharyngeal laceration in the patient; the incident motivates Stuart Cullen, MD, to begin researching inert gases (xenon) as anesthetizing agents.


    Jack Moyers, MD, future Department Chair, teaches an anesthesia course in Copenhagen, Denmark, sponsored by the World Health Organization during the European polio crisis; he introduces the concept of manual ventilation of patients with bulbar polio.

  • 1951

    First reported use of xenon as an anesthetic in humans in the world, (Stuart Cullen, MD, and Erwin G. Gross, MD. Published in the journal Science/1951)


    Lucien Morris invents the Copper Kettle vaporizer, the first anesthetic system to permit reproducible, known volumes and concentrations of volitile anesthetic vapor to patients. This system becomes the industry standard for the next 25 years.