Today In History
Swiss chemist Albert (NOT ABBIE) Hofmann (NOT HOFFMAN) synthesized LSD for the first time at the Sandoz Labs in Basel.
He was actually trying to make a stimulant for the respiratory and circulatory systems and ended up discovering a substance that makes people think the Grateful Dead are good.
Thinking himself a failure, he set aside LSD for five years. Picking it up again, he absorbed a bit through his fingers and had a heckuva trip:
affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. some two hours this condition faded away
Three days later, he took some on purpose and had his assistant escort him — but they had to go by back, because this was 1943 and, ya know, there was a war on:
… little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux …
Hofmann remained an advocate for LSD throughout his life, bemoaning its misuse by the counterculture and its prohibition by governments, believing it had legitimate, psychiatric benefits. He lived to be 102, for what it’s worth.
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