April 16, 2011


Hofmann at 100.

Sometime in the middle of April in 1943, Albert Hofmann, a chemist and researcher at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland, was working on the re-synthesis of a botanical compound.  He apparently absorbed some of it through his fingertips and he later described his experience:

[I was] 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. After some two hours this condition faded away.

The compound was LSD – lycergic acid diethylamide – and Hofmann called it ‘medicine for the soul.’  He considered it a particularly beneficial adjunct to psychoanalysis and was dismayed by its use as a hallucinogenic in the counterculture of the Sixties.

Hofmann continued to work in the field of botanicals at Sandoz, studying morning glories, salvia and Mexican ‘magic’ mushrooms, from which he isolated and synthesized psilocybin.

In addition to numerous scientific papers, Hofmann also wrote LSD: My Problem Child.  He died in Basel of natural causes three  years ago at the age of 102.

* * *

Notable birthdays: Charlie Chaplin, Henry Mancini, Peter Ustinov, Kingsley Amis, Lily Pons, Herbie Mann, Jon Cryer and Martin Lawrence.



  1. WOW – that’s a trip!! hee hee…


    Comment by the Miguel A. Juárez — April 16, 2011 @ 12:26 am | Reply

  2. he read the whole thing aloud to me….what a cool story and a long trippy life!!


    Comment by nina c — April 16, 2011 @ 9:21 am | Reply

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