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Hofmann, Albert

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: January 11, 1906 - May 1, 2008

Albert Hofmann was born on January 11, 1906 in Baden, Switzerland.  He began studying science at the University of Zurich when he was twenty years old; four years later, he finished his doctoral thesis in chemistry.   Hofmann’s thesis concerned vineyard snails and how they produce the carbohydrate, chitin.  By the time he earned his Ph.D., Hofmann was already working for Sandoz Laboratories in Basel.  He began working on a project at Sandoz, where he was deriving drug compounds from ergot.  In the 1930s, he worked to fuse lysergic acid with other compounds in hopes to make the lysergic acid more stable.  In November of 1938, Hofmann created that stable synthetic version, naming it “Lyserg-Saure-Diathylamid-25” (LSD-25) or “Lysergic-Acid-Diethylamide-25” in English.  The “25” represents that it was Hofmann’s 25th compound for this Sandoz project.  Eventually, the project finished and nothing further was done with LSD-25. It was not until April 16, 1943 when Hofmann accidentally handled the substance and then rubbed his eye; he began feeling the effects shortly thereafter.  He left the laboratory and rode his bicycle home, which became known as his famous bicycle ride.  The following work day, Hofmann deliberately ingested .25 milligrams (about ten times the “normal” amount unbeknownst to him) of LSD-25 and had to be taken home; the effects were too strong and Hoffman experienced some rather frightening hallucinations.  Once he was checked by a doctor and told he was not, in fact, dying, Hofmann relaxed and eventually fell asleep.  The next morning he felt reborn and his senses renewed.  Hofmann reported what had happened to his supervisors at Sandoz, and LSD-25 was tested on three more employees.  These results were shared with a researcher at the University of Zurich, where LSD-25 was identified as a non-toxic psychotropic compound.  Sandoz began offering LSD-25 to qualified researchers and medical professionals after 1947, and many psychologists and psychiatrists were very excited about the promising effects LSD-25 had on troubled patients, especially those suffering from schizophrenia.  The drug was then used by the CIA in a controversial covert project called MKULTRA, where it was used during the interrogation of enemy combatants and captured foreign intelligence agents.  It is said that experiments were also conducted on U.S. military personal and civilian subjects in psychiatric hospitals. Unfortunately, the counterculture of the 1960s helped to demonize the potentially useful LSD-25; and by the late 1960s, LSD was outlawed in most countries, which hindered scientific studies of the drug.  Hofmann was disappointed in the casual use of LSD-25 and wrote a book in 1983 titled "LSD, My Problem Child: Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism and Science". Hoffman asserted that LSD-25 should be a controlled substance, just as morphine.  On April 29, 2008, Hofmann passed away from a heart attack; he was 102 years old.

Found in 27 Collections and/or Records:

Cerletti, A. and A. Hofmann. "Mushrooms and Toadstools," Letter to the Editor in The Lancet (reprint and photocopy), January 5, 1963

 Item — Box: 3, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 3, Item 21
Scope and Contents Two copies. Photocopy has underlining on second page.
Dates: January 5, 1963

Correspondence, 1979 - 2014

 Series — Box: 22, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 5
Scope and Contents Contains Grof's correspondence concerning the Esalen Institute and the screenplay Brainstorm. The correspondence also documents Grof's achievements, as well as a letter from the Czech president. This series includes an email between Michael Horowitz and Ralph Metzner and a letter to Dr. Willis Harman from and signed by Albert Hofmann.
Dates: 1979 - 2014

Heim, Roger, Albert Hofmann, and Hans Tscherter. "Phytochimie," Academie des Sciences. 257 (reprint), July 1, 1963

 Item — Box: 5, Folder: 3
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 42
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series: Includes published and unpublished preprints, reprints, abstracts, and drafts of articles on the use of psychotropic substances as a therapeutic agent. It also includes book chapters, letters to the editor, and conference presentations.
Dates: July 1, 1963

Hofmann, A. and F. Troxler. "Indetifizierung von Psilocin," EXPERIENTIA. Vol. 15, No. 3 (reprint), 1959

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 72
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series: Includes published and unpublished preprints, reprints, abstracts, and drafts of articles on the use of psychotropic substances as a therapeutic agent. It also includes book chapters, letters to the editor, and conference presentations.
Dates: 1959

Hofmann, A. and H. Tscherter. "Isolierung von Lysergsaure-Alkaloiden aus der mexikanischen Zauberdrogr Ololiuqui." Separatum Experientia. Vol 16, No 9., 1960

 Item — Box: 5, Folder: 2
Identifier: MSP 70, Series 3, File 2, Item 2
Scope and Contents From the Series: Contains dated and undated article reprints that Savage used for research, as well as his article reviews. Some of the article reprints are written by him, or they are articles he may have reviewed. The materials are arranged chronologically.
Dates: 1960

Hofmann, A. "Chemical Aspects of Psilocybin, The Psychotropic Principle from the Mexican Fungus, Psilocybe Mexicana Heim," Neuro-Psychopharmacology. Proceedings of the 1st International Congress of Neuro-Psychopharmacology. (reprint), September 1958

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 70
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series: Includes published and unpublished preprints, reprints, abstracts, and drafts of articles on the use of psychotropic substances as a therapeutic agent. It also includes book chapters, letters to the editor, and conference presentations.
Dates: September 1958

Hofmann, A. "Chemical, Pharmacological and Medical Aspects of Psychotomimetics." J. Expt. Med. Sc. Vol 5, No 2., September 1961

 Item — Box: 5, Folder: 2
Identifier: MSP 70, Series 3, File 2, Item 8
Scope and Contents From the Series: Contains dated and undated article reprints that Savage used for research, as well as his article reviews. Some of the article reprints are written by him, or they are articles he may have reviewed. The materials are arranged chronologically.
Dates: September 1961

Hofmann, A. "Die Erforschung der mexikanischen Zauberpilze." (reprint), undated

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 80
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series: Includes published and unpublished preprints, reprints, abstracts, and drafts of articles on the use of psychotropic substances as a therapeutic agent. It also includes book chapters, letters to the editor, and conference presentations.
Dates: undated

Hofmann, A. "Die psychotropen Wirkstoffe der mexikanischen Zauberpilze," CHIMIA. 14 (reprint), 1960

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 82
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series: Includes published and unpublished preprints, reprints, abstracts, and drafts of articles on the use of psychotropic substances as a therapeutic agent. It also includes book chapters, letters to the editor, and conference presentations.
Dates: 1960

Hofmann, A. "Die psychotropen Wirkstoffe der mexikanischen Zauberpilze," Verh. Naturf. Ges. Basel. Vol. 71, No. 2 (reprint), December 1960

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 83
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series: Includes published and unpublished preprints, reprints, abstracts, and drafts of articles on the use of psychotropic substances as a therapeutic agent. It also includes book chapters, letters to the editor, and conference presentations.
Dates: December 1960

Hofmann, A. "Die Wirkstoffe der Mexikanischen Zauberdroge Ololiuqui." Planta Medica. Vol 9, No 4., December 1961

 Item — Box: 5, Folder: 2
Identifier: MSP 70, Series 3, File 2, Item 9
Scope and Contents From the Series: Contains dated and undated article reprints that Savage used for research, as well as his article reviews. Some of the article reprints are written by him, or they are articles he may have reviewed. The materials are arranged chronologically.
Dates: December 1961

Hofmann, A. "Die Wirkstoffe der mexikanischen Zauberdroge Ololiuqui," Planta Medica. Vol. 9, No. 4 (reprint), December 1961

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 81
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series: Includes published and unpublished preprints, reprints, abstracts, and drafts of articles on the use of psychotropic substances as a therapeutic agent. It also includes book chapters, letters to the editor, and conference presentations.
Dates: December 1961

Hofmann, A. "Psychotomimetic Agents" in A. Burger’s Chemical Constitution and Pharmacodynamic Action. Vol. 2. New York: M. Dekker (reprint), 1968

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 85
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series: Includes published and unpublished preprints, reprints, abstracts, and drafts of articles on the use of psychotropic substances as a therapeutic agent. It also includes book chapters, letters to the editor, and conference presentations.
Dates: 1968

Hofmann, A. “Psychotomimetic Drugs: Chemical and Pharmacological Aspects,” Acta Physiol. Pharmacol. Neerlandica. 8, 1959

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 78
Scope and Contents Two copies, one reprint and one photocopy.
Dates: 1959

Hofmann, A. "Psychotomimetica. Chemische, Pharmakologische und Medizinische Aspekte," Svensk Kemisk Tidskrift. Vol. 72, No. 12, 1960

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 77
Scope and Contents Two copies, one reprint and one photocopy.
Dates: 1960

Hofmann, A., R. Heim, A. Brack, and H. Kobel. "Psilocybin, ein psychotroper Wirkstoff aus dem mexikanischen Rauschpilz Psilocybe Mexicana Heim," EXPERIENTIA. Vol. 14, No. 3 (reprint), 1958

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 73
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series: Includes published and unpublished preprints, reprints, abstracts, and drafts of articles on the use of psychotropic substances as a therapeutic agent. It also includes book chapters, letters to the editor, and conference presentations.
Dates: 1958

Hofmann, A. "The Chemistry of LSD and Its Modifications" in D. V. Siva Sankar’s LSD – A Total Study. New York: PJD Publications Ltd. (photocopy), 1975

 Item — Box: 6, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSP 1, Series 3, Sub-Series 2, File 8, Item 84
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series: Includes published and unpublished preprints, reprints, abstracts, and drafts of articles on the use of psychotropic substances as a therapeutic agent. It also includes book chapters, letters to the editor, and conference presentations.
Dates: 1975

Albert Hofmann correspondence and other materials

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 89
Abstract The Albert Hofmann correspondence and other materials contains correspondence with Ralph Metzner and Rolf von Eckartsberg, a photocopy of Hofmann's patent for LSD, photographs of Hofmann, a brochure for U.C. Santa Cruz Symposium (1982), and clippings on Hofmann.
Dates: 1948 - 2006

Horowitz, Michael. "Interview: Albert Hofmann." High Times, undated

 Item — Box: 2, Folder: 11
Identifier: MSP 56, File 11, Item 5
Scope and Contents Reprint. Publishing information not discernible.
Dates: undated