Robbins, Benjamin Howard, Sr. (1904-1960)

 Digital Record
Identifier: 825
Robbins, Benjamin Howard, Sr. (1904-1960)


  • 1957 - 1989

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Historical or Biographical Note

Benjamin Howard Robbins Sr., M.D., graduated from Vanderbilt with his master's degree in chemistry in 1926 and went on to receive his M.D. in 1933. During the years prior to the official inception of the Vanderbilt Department of Anesthesiology, Robbins focused his attention on volatile anesthestics. Between 1935-1946, Robbins is believed to have published 22 papers on anesthetics and anesthesia, include 12 on cyclopropane. In 1945, Robbins published the first definitive work on the anesthetic properties of the fluorinated hydrocarbons and ethers. He laid crucial groundwork for the preparation of modern non-flammable inhalation anesthesia.

In 1945, Robbins was asked to establish an anesthesia service at Vanderbilt Hospital, and in 1946, Robbins was appointed professor of anesthesiology and the first chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University. He served in this capacity until his passing in 1960.

Language of Materials



Biographical file includes newspaper clippings, obituaries, a booklet containing the Robbins' bibliography (and those of Gwathmey and Pittinger), a reprinted journal article, and other biographical information.

Repository Details

Part of the VUMC Historical Images and Biographies Repository

Eskind Biomedical Library
2209 Garland Ave.
Nashville TN 37232


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