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For many of us alchemy conjures up images of mysticism or a fool’s quest for gold. But alchemy’s golden age was much more. In this era of experimental discovery and practical skill, physicians and chymists worked to heal the human body. They studied the secrets of the natural world. These men and women ushered in change, creativity, and scientific inquiry. This era was stranger than fiction and more curious than myth. We invite you to step into the real Age of Alchemy.

Age of Alchemy is part of a series of alchemically inspired projects and events at the Science History Institute. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming workshops and tours, and to learn about your chance to play-test our prototype of Age of Alchemy: The Goldsmith’s Daughter, an immersive video game set inside an early modern laboratory. The Goldsmith’s Daughter is funded by a Prototype Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and will be produced in partnership with Gossamer Games and the Drexel University Entrepreneurial Game Studio.

Age of Alchemy was on view in our Hach Gallery from May 2018 to July 2021.

Download the Gallery Guide | View Alchemy Items in our Digital Collections