History of the GSA

The GSA was formed at a meeting of anesthetists gathered at the Hotel Biltmore in Atlanta, Georgia on January 29, 1948. A constitution was framed and adopted and the following officers were elected:

  • President : Thomas J. Collier, M.D., Atlanta, Georgia
  • Secretary: Perry P. Volpitto, M.D., Augusta, Georgia
  • Treasurer: Hayward S. Phillips, M.D., Atlanta, Georgia

The Executive Committee of the American Society of Anesthesiologists granted a charter to the GSA on March 21, 1948. Comprising the Society were 20 active and five junior founding members.

Dr. Crawford Williamson Long

Dr. Crawford W. Long was the physician who, on March 30, 1842, first used ether for surgical anesthesia. Born in Danielsville, Georgia on November 1, 1815, Long entered the University of Georgia, then known as Franklin College, at the age of 14. Upon graduating five years later, he apprenticed under Dr. Grant of Jefferson, Georgia, before leaving Georgia to attend the Medical Department of Transylvania University and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. It was here that he received his surgical training. Following one year's internship in New York City, Crawford W. Long returned to Jefferson and purchased the practice of his former mentor, Dr. Grant.

Dr. Long was a young bachelor of 26 when he noticed that participants under the recreational use of ether felt no pain from injuries received during their "frolics." He reached the conclusion that ether could make surgery painless. The opportunity to test his theory came when James Venable requested that Dr. Long remove a cyst from his neck. Three witnesses reported that, on March 30, 1842, the operation was successful and Venable felt no pain.

Text from the Crawford W. Long Museum web site www.crawfordlong.org

For more on Dr. Crawford Long see below.

Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials and Legends, Vol. II. Ch. X
by Lucian Lamar Knight