Dr. John Warren, nephew of Joseph Warren who died at Bunker Hill, was Surgeon General and Eminence Grise at Harvard as only an authoritarian Harvard professor can be. Wells, a dentist came to him in 1840 and said he had invented a painless way of doing surgery. It didn't work and Dr. Warren let the students in a cry of "bah humbug". The rest of the story is described in a book, The Century of the Surgeon. They did it again in 1846 and it worked. Dr. Warren started crying, "Gentlemen, this is no humbug". His whole life had been devoted to debunking such plain people and procedures as Dr. Wells. Another Dr. committed suicide knowing his whole life work had been wrong on the subject. I believe Wells died penniless of course.  Perhaps some day, I will be present at a demonstration of the joys and virtues of charting. It will work and I will start crying and say, "Gentlemen, this is no humbug" and will die penniless.

Kim Zussman writes: 

Besides typical faults of practicing dentistry and attending Harvard Med School in pursuit of romance, Morton was also illiberal (for trying to profit from ether anesthetic). From wiki:

William Thomas Green Morton (August 9, 1819 – July 15, 1868) was an American dentist who first publicly demonstrated the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anesthetic in 1846. The promotion of his questionable claim to have been the discoverer of anesthesia became an obsession for the rest of his life.


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