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Monday, October 15, 2012

A List of 5 Influential Amphetamine Historical Figures

Lazar Edeleanu, a Jewish Romanian chemist (1861-1941), first synthesized amphetamine in 1887 at Universität Berlin. Originally it was given the name phenylisopropylamine. The synthetic was buried in scientific archives and more or less forgotten for the next 40 years. He was bestowed the title of Doctor in Chemistry following the publication of his thesis "On the Derivatives of Fatty Phenylmethacrylic and Phenylisobutyric Acids" (German title: "Ueber einige Derivate der Phenylmethacrylsäure und der Phenylisobuttersäure"). The thesis described phenylisopropylamine, a stimulant which effects the nervous system, better known as amphetamine or benzedrine.

Theodor Gilbert Morell (July 22, 1886 – May 26, 1948) was Hitler's personal physician. Morell was a General Practitioner in Germany who was notorious for utilizing unorthodox methods to treat illnesses, most notably, syphilis. Initially Morell was employed by Hitler to prophylactically ward off syphilis, which Hitler linked to the Jews. It's assumed that when Hitler had difficulties with grogginess and disorientation in the morning, Morell would inject him with a cocktail of water and an unspecified substance he emptied from gold-foiled packets. The secret substance, which Morell called "Vitamultin", would apparently refresh and invigorate Hitler. Heinrich Himmler, the Commanding Officer of the SS, clandestinely had one of these gold-foil packets analyzed in a laboratory. The conclusion was that it was found to contain Methamphetamine. A week before Hitler suicide in April 1945 he dismissed Morell. As of April of 1945 Morell was injecting Hitler with Methamphetamine everyday. The exact amount of the daily injections is lost to history. Morell's nickname throughout Germany at the time was Der Reichsspritzenmeister (The Injection Master of the Third Reich) and was purportedly given to him by Hermann Göring.

Max Jacobson has been deemed the original Dr. Feelgood. He was born in Germany and studied to become a physician. Jacobson was famous/infamous for his "miracle tissue regenerator" shots which were a concoction of amphetamines, vitamins, painkillers, and human placenta. John F. Kennedy was first treated by Jacobson in September 1960, preceding the1960 presidential election debates. It is a public secret that Kennedy suffered from chronic back pain. During the Vienna Summit in 1961 Jacobson injected Kennedy with his potpourri of chemicals to help reduce Kennedy's worsening chronic back pain. As of May 1962, it's reported that Max Jacobson had visited the White House a total of 34 times in order to treat the President.

Philip K Dick during his most prolific and arguably most thematically interesting period was known to lock himself away for 2 weeks straight on an amphetamine induced writing frenzy. He then emerged having written 2 complete novels. In an interview conducted by Uwe Anton & Werner Fuchs and transcribed by Frank C. Bertrand into English [from: SF EYE, #14, Spring 1996, pp. 37-46] Dick openly confessed to the necessity of using to amphetamines in order to be productive; “Ah, well, my writing falls into two degrees, the writing done under the influence of drugs and the writing I've done when I'm not under the influence of drugs. But when I'm not under the influence of drugs I write about drugs. I took amphetamines for years in order to get energy to write. I had to write so much in order to make a living because our pay rates were so low. In five years I wrote sixteen novels, which is incredible. I mean, nobody, I don't think anybody's ever done it before. And without amphetamines I couldn't have written that much. But as soon as I began to earn enough money so that I didn't have to write so many books, I stopped taking amphetamines”. According to a 1975 interview in Rolling Stone Magazine, Dick wrote all of his books published before 1970 while on amphetamine. On his own admission of sobriety during the writing process, 1977 marked the publication his book A Scanner Darkly about his experiences and hallucinations while on amphetamines.

Paul Erdős was a hungarian born and naturalized american who fled Europe before WW2 because of the mounting anti-semitism. He was a prolific scientist who published more scholarly papers than any other mathematician in history. Although a brilliant scholar he was also notorious for his eccentric behavior. He accepted his first American position as a scholarship holder at Princeton University in 1938. Close to this time he began to indulge in wanderlust and started traveling from campus to campus. This was a habit which continued until his death in 1996. Somewhere around 1971 Erdős began using methamphetamine. His friends were concerned and alarmed at his increasing dependance on methamphetamine; betting him he couldn't quit for a month. Erdős wa the bet but lamented to his friends that the month without the aid of methamphetamine critically delayed his research.

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