BBC DOCUMENTARY PRES. Timothy Leary: The Man Who Turned On America 2 OF 3
In 1938, Drs. Albert Hofmann and W. A. Stoll of Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, discovered the ergot derivative d-lysergic acid diethylamide. Since this was the twenty-fifth lysergic compound the scientists had discovered, they called the substance LSD-25.
When initial testing on animals showed no interesting properties of the drug, the substance was put away for the next five years.
In 1943, Dr. Hofmann took the first acid trip. On April 16, 1943, Dr. Albert Hofmann ... was working in his lab at Sandoz... was working with the derivatives of ergot, a fungus that grows on grains. Sandoz had successfully marketed ergot derivative for use in obstetrics and in treating migraine headaches. Midway through Friday afternoon Hofmann decided to go home. He felt restless and dizzy.
At home, I lay down and immediately fell into a peculiar state similar to a drunkenness, characterized by an exaggerated imagination. With my eyes closed, fantastic pictures of extraordinary plasticity and intensive color seemed to surge towards me. After about two hours this condition disappeared....