Figure 2: Solomon Davis Townsend, 1793-1869.

The attribution of Figure 2 as Dr. Townsend is indisputable, as is his presence in the EDD-Nos.2-5 surgeries. He was a principal of the Abbott surgery and contributed a number of interesting case reports in the medical literature during his life, but nothing to place him on the Garrison & Morton registry of medical savants. Nor did he publish anything on ether except for his testimonials during the Morton patent trials. Unlike John Collins Warren, he was strictly a practitioner, not a scholar, a former naval surgeon whose military bearing imparted the equanimity and composure that is so essential for a surgical arena. Townsend's character comes through splendidly in the daguerreotypes.

The subtextual color in Townsend's testimony before the Morton patent trial is delightful and provides a vivid view through his eyes of the Ether Dome and the activities of the Abbott surgery.(65 »»)  A few of his answers are pertinent to the discussion on the Ether Dome iconography.

9th: Will you please state about how many persons were usually present in the operating theatre?
Ans: During the lectures, about one hundred. Before the lectures twenty-five to fifty.

10th: Whether the period when the lectures were given embraced any, and if any, what portion of the time from October '46, to January '47?
Ans: The lectures began the first Wednesday in November, and continued four months.

26th: How many times did you ever see Dr. Morton administer ether, both at the hospital and in any cases of private practice, in which he may have administered it?
Ans: Not more than six times, but I am uncertain as to that. After we became accustomed to it at the hospital, we used it ourselves.

65.) Morton, WTG, et al (1853); p. 355-376. ; See pages 363 & 365 for the interogatories cited.

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