Selections from Hagley Museum and Library's archives and published collections on the history of American business, technology, and innovation.
The Hagley Vault
Cocaine was first used publicly as a local anesthetic on this date, September 16, in 1884 by the Austrian ophthalmologist Karl Koller (1857-1944). The surgical demonstration, conducted in front of peers in the medical community, ushered in a new era of surgical possibilities and his discovery was also adopted by professionals in the fields of nose and throat surgery, as well as dentists. The drug was also adopted by a variety of prescription drugs, patent medicine, and sodas, and remained popular for these purposes until interventions like the Harrison Anti-Narcotic Act of 1914 began to restrict its availability and use.Read more...
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