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HE ULTIMATE GOAL toward which every phase of
the healing art is consecrated is the mitigation of human
suffering and pain. In man's centuries of struggle
toward this end progress has been rapid only when
considering the magnitude of the task and realizing
that hand in hand with every advancing stride in civili-
zation go untold hardships and strife as Well as strong opposition
from a Doubting Thomas World. One of the greatest steps in this
direction Was made just one hundred years ago this year, in 1844,
When Horace Wells, an American dentist, first gave to the World
an agent Which would render the human body insensible to pain.
It is difficult for us of today to realize that the time is not far
past when every stroke of the scalpel and every grip of the forcep
brought agonizing cries, excruciating pain and anguish. The fact
that such conditions do not exist today, even in the deepest surgery,
is due primarily to the efforts of this one man.
His contribution was not only of supreme intrinsic value, but
also one which opened wide the hitherto tightly barred doors to
greater surgical advancement. There is not a single man in all
history Who has more right to the title GREAT than Horace Wells.
The fact that he was an American dentist is rightly a source of joy”