Anorak News | Albert Hoffman Trips Out: RIP

Albert Hoffman Trips Out: RIP

by | 30th, April 2008

hoffman.jpg ALBERT Hofmann, the father of LSD, has died at his home in Basel, Switzerland.

Switzerland – that land ideally suited to dreams of other things and escape:

The Swiss chemist discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 in1938 while studying the medicinal uses of a fungus found on wheat and other grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals firm (which later merged with Ciba-Geigy to become Novartis).

LSD was elevated to international fame in the late 1950s and 1960s thanks to Harvard professor Timothy Leary who embraced the drug under the slogan “turn on, tune in, drop out”.

Its widespread use caused an outcry, which eventually led to a worldwide ban at end of the 1960s. It also gradually fell out of favour in the medical world. Sandoz stopped producing it in 1966.

An accident:

Born January 11, 1906, Hofmann discovered LSD — lysergic acid diethylamide, which later became the favoured drug of the 1960s counter-culture — when a tiny quantity leaked on to his hand during a laboratory experiment in 1943.

He noted a “remarkable restlessness, combined with slight dizziness” that made him stop his work.

“At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxication-like condition, characterised by an extremely stimulated imagination,” Hofmann said of the experience.

“In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight too unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours,” Hofmann wrote in his book “LSD — My Problem Child.”

“After some two hours this condition faded away.”

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