This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
Methylic Ether is obtained by digesting methylic alcohol with strong sulphuric acid. It is a gaseous substance, of an ethereal odor, and under the name of methyl-ethylic ether, it has been used as a general anaesthetic. The methylic ether is prepared for use as methyl-ethylic ether by frequent washings in a strong solution of potassa, and is afterwards dissolved in absolute ethylic ether. In order that it may be fit for use, it is necessary to keep it for some time securely stopped.
According to Dr. B. W. Richardson, of England, methylic ether is a superior anaesthetic for dental operations - better, he says, than nitrous oxide gas, because it allows air to be given with it, and does not asphyxiate nor produce muscular spasms and syncope. Under its influence, the patient is in a state of semi-consciousness, but is not conscious of pain from an operation.