Early Science & Alchemy

Marvels and Ciphers

At look at the museum's temporary exhibit, Marvels and Ciphers: A Look Inside the Flask.

Episode 91 | March 26, 2010

Episode 91: Marvels and Ciphers by Distillations Podcast

In early March 2010 the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s museum opened the temporary exhibit, Marvels and Ciphers: A Look Inside the Flask. Focusing on alchemy and quantum chemistry, the exhibit pulled from CHF’s collections and archives to show how new discoveries have awed and frightened both the scientific community and the public at large over the centuries. In today’s episode Distillations host Meir Rinde and guest cohost Gigi Naglak give us a special tour of Marvels and Ciphers. Chemical Agent: Viagra.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:40 Introduction
01:05 Chemical Agent: Viagra
04:30 Secrets of the Alchemical Tree
08:43 19th-Century Political Cartoons
09:47 Closing Credits


This show was written and researched by Hilary Domush and James Voelkel. Special thanks to guest cohost Gigi Naglak.

Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Additional music includes “Ready to Go,” by Ben Cooper (from Music Alley), and “La Savorgnana,” by Giovanni Legrenzi and performed by Altri Stromenti (from Magnatune).

Image: Rudolph Pariser in front of a blackboard with quantum calculations, contemplating molecular model, 1950s. Courtesy of the Hagley Museum and Library.