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Anaesthesia (1938)

Approved | | Short, Drama, History | 9 July 1938 (USA)
An examination of the history of anesthesia, from ancient Egyptian times to contemporary times.


Will Jason


Jack Woodford


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Cast overview:
Pete Smith ... Narrator (voice)


This Pete Smith Specialty looks at the history of anesthesia. In ancient civilizations, the original anesthesia was a blow to the head. Much later, alcohol was used to dull the senses; the patient felt no pain even when he was awake. In 1799 nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, came into use. In 1839 experiments with ether proved successful. Then came the current practice of mixing oxygen with various chemical compounds. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@verizon.net>

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Short | Drama | History








Release Date:

9 July 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anesthesia See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Fun Smith Short
1 January 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Anaesthesia (1938)

*** (out of 4)

Fun Pete Smith short takes a look at the history of anaesthesia from the early days of simply hitting someone over the head to the current times of mixing oxygen with various chemicals. This is a pretty entertaining short if you're mildly interested in hearing about the various ways people were put under in order to have an operation done. Some of the forms are used as comedy including the use of alcohol to make people not feel pain but some are told with drama including one way, which was discovered after some college boys played a prank on a black janitor. As usual, the film runs a brief 9-minutes and there's really not any downtime as the film moves very quickly. Smith adds his typical nice narration and perfectly delivers the jokes.

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