So Long, and Thanks for All the Melting Walls (or: R.I.P. Albert Hofmann)

by Joey deVilla on April 30, 2008

Albert Hoffman, discoverer of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and the man personally responsible for a lot of lost weekends (and possibly Burning Man), died yesterday at the age of 102.

Albert Hofmann, holding a model of the LSD molecule in front of a psychedelic background.

Here’s the quick version of the story of his discovery of LSD, excerpted from Wired News:

Hofmann’s most famous discovery happened on April 16, 1943. He was researching the synthesis of a lysergic acid compound, LSD-25, when he inadvertently absorbed a bit through his fingertips. Intrigued by the effect it had on his perception, Hofmann decided further exploration was warranted. Three days later, on April 19, he ingested 250 micrograms of LSD, embarking on the first full-fledged acid trip. That day became known among LSD fans as “bicycle day” because Hofmann began experiencing the drug’s intense effects on his bicycle trip home from the lab.

For more on Dr. Hofmann’s life and passing, here are some links:

In tribute to Dr. Hofmann, here’s an excellent video treatment of William Shatner’s cover of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, complete with kitschy Star Trek and I Love Lucy graphics:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joel December 7, 2010 at 4:46 am

Hi, I found your blog site while google searching images of Albert Hoffman and was wondering if you possibly knew who did the colorful art explosion in the background of the Hoffman picture above?

Tom Howell April 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Hi, I also found your blog site while google searching images of Albert Hoffman and I also was wondering if you possibly knew who did the colorful art explosion in the background of the Hoffman picture above? I would like to use it in an article.

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