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You are at stop #3 on the Science & Invention tour

Enoch Smith Woods, Horace Wells Plaque, 1894, bronze,
Corner of Main and Asylum Streets, opposite the Old Statue House

The bronze plaque dedicated to Horace Wells (1815-1848) is situated to the right of the entrance of the old Corning Building, the former location of the Hartford National Bank. It was presented to the City of Hartford by the Connecticut State Dental association, and unveiled Dec. 10, 1894. The tablet commemorates Wells who discovered and demonstrated the use of anesthesia on this spot in 1844.

Woods designed this 3’ x 1’-6’ relief one year after he was commissioned to do the Colonel Thomas Knowlton statue, and two years after the presentation of the Nathan Hale statue to the Wadsworth Atheneum. Due to a misreading of the inscriptions, the Fine Arts Commission only tentatively attributed the plaque to Woods and misdated it. The attribution to Woods and the date can be affirmed by a careful reading of the plaque and a corroborating published account in the Hartford Times.