Sunday 10 July 2016

How Chloroform Went From Beloved Sedative To Crime-Fiction Trope

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In 1847 James Young Simpson, an obstetrician, had come across a chemical compound virtually unknown in medicine: trichloromethane, or chloroform, a dizzying sedative that induced near-immediate sleep without any of the worrisome side effects of ether.

Chloroform, Simpson said, would bring patients much-needed anesthesia during painful procedures. Soon, chloroform would become the world's artificial sleep of choice. Criminals and victims alike would appropriate it for devious purposes, permanently mislabeling it as an efficient way to rape, rob or kill.

(via Neatorama)

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