International Anesthesia Research Society and Anesthesia & Analgesia Historical Timeline

Through this historical timeline, we invite you to reflect on the foundation, some of the key moments and people who made the International Anesthesia Research Society and Anesthesia & Analgesia what it is today.

Click the buttons below to view important events from other timeframes.


Severe rheumatoid arthritis prevented Dr. Francis McMechan from continuing his medical practice, and he turned his skills to the development of anesthesia organizations.



Dr. McMechan joined the New York Society and signed the membership registration book in purple ink! 

At the May 15 meeting of the New York Society of Anesthetists, plans to form a national society of anesthetists were discussed.


A formal resolution to form a national society of anesthetists was presented to the AMA House of Delegates by the New York Society and was rejected.



The first formal meeting of the American Association of Anesthetists (AAA) was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the time of the meeting of the AMA.

Dr. James T. Gwathmey became the first president of this new society, AAA.


Dr. McMechan convinced Joseph MacDonald, Managing Editor of the American Journal of Surgery, to publish a Quarterly Supplement of Anesthesia and Analgesia, with Dr. McMechan as editor.

The Quarterly Supplement of Anesthesia and Analgesia continued until 1926, despite commencement of publication of Current Researches in Anesthesia and Analgesia in 1922 by NARS, with Dr. McMechan as editor. 


First supplement of Quarterly Supplement of Anesthesia and Analgesia was published with a subtitle indicating that it was the American Journal of Anesthesia and Analgesia. Initially, it was the official organ of the American Association of Anesthetists and the Scottish Society of Anesthetists.

Francis and Laurette McMechan also created an important (and nearly forgotten) contribution, the “Quarterly Index of the Current Literature of Anesthesia and Analgesia.”



A group of practitioners of anesthesia, researchers involved with the specialty, and representatives of related industries, who were motivated by an interest in developing basic science and clinical research in anesthesiology, met at the Union Club in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 18 and formed the National Anesthesia Research Society (NARS).

The Board of Governors of the NARS (1919-24) which changed its name to IARS in 1925 included physicians, dentists, and scientists.



The announcement of the launching of NARS formed part of a report of the 8th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Anesthetists (AAA, 1912) in New Orleans, April 26-27.

The announcement from the AAA meeting report listed the main objectives of the society as the following:

  1. To promote  the  science  of  anaesthesia  and  to  enable  the  members of the Society, and others, to submit to the dental and medical professions any views, findings or accomplishments they have attained.
  2. To obtain from all available sources, information concerning any material, liquid or gas, known to have anaesthetic properties.
  3. To arrange  in  cooperation  with  dental,  medical  and  anaesthesia associations for the preparation and delivery of suitable,  interesting  and  educational  papers  on  the  general subject, or relative to some particular anaesthetic.
  4. To use its influence to avoid the publication or circulation of any false or unauthentic statements concerning the science or practice of anaesthesia, or about any anaesthetic.
  5. To receive and tabulate reports of any and all conditions, symptoms or  phenomena  prevailing  during  or  after  anaesthesia  by  any  anaesthetic  and  to  prepare  and  distribute, on request, forms on which such information can be tabulated with uniformity.
  6. To distribute by pamphlet or publication, as its funds may permit, such reliable data as may be collected or obtained from those interested in the subject.
  7. To aid, as far as possible, in the preparation, publication and sale of suitable text books on the subject of anaesthesia, and to prepare as rapidly as possible, reference books for use by the medical and dental professions.
  8. To cooperate  with  the  state  authorities  in  the  preparation of suitable legislation to safeguard those to whom an anaesthetic is to be administered, as well as those called upon to administer it.
  9. To arrange for the production of moving picture films to illustrate to  the  profession  the  action  of  anaesthetics  on  the  patient  during  induction  and  maintenance  of  anaesthesia,  and  to  prepare  articles  for  publication  in  magazines and the public press.
  10. To use its influence in every possible way and to give its aid toward the advancement of the science, practice and teaching of anaesthesia.

The Canadian Society of Anaesthetists was formed.

The first publication of the new society included a monograph, “Nitrous Oxide-Oxygen Analgesia and Anaesthesia in Normal Labor and Operative Obstetrics.”



The Quarterly Supplement of Anesthesia and Analgesia became the official organ of the AAA, the NARS, the Inter-State Association of Anesthetists, the New York Society of Anesthetists, and the Providence (RI) Society of Anesthetists.