Chloroform once appeared in toothpastes, cough syrups and ointments. In 1847 James Simpson discovered the anaethestic qualities of chloroform when he was experimenting with different substances on himself in search of a new general anesthetic. He was so astounded by the success of his own trial that within the next few days was administering it to his patients during childbirth.
In the 20th century it was quickly abandoned upon discovery of its toxicity, especially its tendency to cause fatal cardiac arrhythmia. It was banned in the US in 1976.