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Correspondence  |   June 1997
Response to “Iconography in Anesthesiology”  : The Importance of Society Seals in the 1920s and 1930s"
Author Notes
  • Department of Anesthesiology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP, United Kingdom.
Article Information
Correspondence
Correspondence   |   June 1997
Response to “Iconography in Anesthesiology”  : The Importance of Society Seals in the 1920s and 1930s"
Anesthesiology 6 1997, Vol.86, 1428. doi:
Anesthesiology 6 1997, Vol.86, 1428. doi:
To the Editor:-I hesitate to make any criticism of Professor Douglas Bacon's learned article entitled “Iconology in Anesthesiology,” in the August edition of Anesthesiology, but I think he will find that the winged figure in the seal of the Canadian Society of Anaesthetists is the god Hypnos (the equivalent in the seal of the Pacific Coast Association is in fact so named in Greek lettering along its back).
This Greek god is something of an abstraction, being the offspring of Night and the brother of Death but does have a walk on part in the Iliad.
Representations in art are few, but they usually are winged. One in the Louvre is depicted as a winged head; on close examination of Figure 2 and Figure 3 in the article, it will be seen that they are not wearing helmets, but their pinions spring directly from their skulls!
Our own British Association of Anaesthetists has Hypnos (Latin, Somnus) as a supporter to its shield of arms. The other supporter is his son, Morpheus, after whom morphine is named.
Brian Welsh, M.D.
Department of Anesthesiology; Royal Victoria Infirmary; Queen Victoria Road
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP; United Kingdom
(Accepted for publication March 26, 1997.)