When Long did this, he had already used ether on a friend, writes anesthesiologist Almiro dos Reis Júnior, to remove infected cysts from his neck. Long had experience with the substance from so-called “ether parties” where young people would knock each other out for fun. However, the public was skeptical of knocking people unconscious during surgery, so Long stopped using ether in his clinic. “But Long still believed in the importance of anesthesia and administered ether to his wife during the birth of his second child in 1845 and other subsequent deliveries, thus undoubtedly becoming the pioneer of obstetric analgesia,” writes dos Reis Júnior.Both ether and chloroform had been used recreationally, and both are dangerous if the amount isn't just right. But the relief from the pain of childbirth caught on rapidly, especially after Queen Victoria gave birth using anesthesia. Read about the early days of anesthesia at Smithsonian.