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laughing gas, 'The Prescription for Scolding Wives', 1830

The promoters of the "Grand Exhibition of Laughing Gas" were keen to target a reputable audience. "The gas will be administered only to gentlemen of the first respectability. The object is to make the entertainment in every respect a genteel affair", its advertising posters declared. Unfortunately, events sometimes got a bit out of hand.

Worries that the gas might be habit-forming did not weigh heavily in promotional leaflets: "Those who inhale the Gas once, are always anxious to inhale it a second time."


Laughing gas
Utopian Surgery
Refs and Further Reading
Anaesthesia and Anaesthetics