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Chloroform
Timeline
by Erowid
1831-1832 Chloroform was discovered independently by three scientists: Samuel Guthrie, Justus von Liebig, and Eugene Soubeiran. Originally it was used as a treatment for asthma.   
Oct 1847 Chloroform's anesthetic qualities are discovered by Sir James Young Simpson (Edinburgh Professor of Midwifery). Simpson had used Ether as an obstetric anesthestic, but searched for a better alternative to avoid Ether's overpowering smell and requirement of large quantities. 1  
Nov 4, 1847 Simpson invites friends to his house to experiment with Chloroform's anaesthetic properties. Simpson and his guests Dr. Matthew Duncan and Dr. George Keith inhaled chloroform vapors and fell unconscious. Eleven days later, Simpson successfully demonstrated Chloroform's anaesthetic properties at the Royal Infirmery of Edinburgh. 2  
Apr 1853 Queen Victoria accepted chloroform as anesthesia during the delivery of Prince Leopold, her seventh child. Because of this, the practice of using chloroform or any anesthesia during childbirth became significantly more acceptable. Revealing the thinking of the time, in response to Queen Victoria's decision, the Lancet said in May 1853 "In no case could it be justifiable to administer chloroform in a perfectly ordinary labour." 3  
1880 The use of anesthesia (chloroform, ether, or nitrous oxide) becomes generally accepted during surgery and childbirth.   
1906 Pure Food and Drug Act is passed, regulating the labelling of products containing Alcohol, Opiates, Cocaine, and Cannabis, among others. The law went into effect Jan 1, 1907 4   [Details]
1980 The last recorded anesthetic use of chloroform is administered, in Edinburgh, Scotland. 5   [Details]


References
  1.   Glowa JR. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs: Inhalants. Chelsea House, 1986.
  2.   "Saving Pains: The History and Chemistry Behind General Anesthetic Identification." [http://mass-spec.chem.cmu.edu/testVMSL/genanes/details_2.html].
  3.   Haggard H. Devils, Drugs, and Doctors. Blue Ribbon Books, 1929.
  4.   Pure Food and Drug Act. 1906.
  5.   Altman LK. Who Goes First?: The Story of Self-Experimentation in Medicine. University of California Press. 1998. p.66.