It was the 4 November 1847, a servant entered the room of his master, a Scottish doctor, to find him lying face-down on the floor alongside two of his colleagues. They appeared to have rolled down from their chairs. The servant thought that perhaps they had drunk too heavily, so he covered them up and quietly went away.
But the facts were quite different. For the men lying unconscious on the floor were Sir James Simpson and his two assistants who had inhaled chloroform for the first time ever in order to experience its effects on the human body.
Simpson was the youngest son of a poor baker. At the age of four, he began his education at a village school. As time went on he became so greatly interested in his studies that his father and six brothers agreed that sacrifices must be made for him, so they cut down on their expenses and sent the boy to the city for higher education. So he came to Edinburgh University, where he acquired an MD Degree, the highest degree in medicine in those days, thus making himself worthy of his family’s sacrifice.