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Workers Discover Hidden Chemistry Lab Designed by Thomas Jefferson

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posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 08:15 PM
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University of Virginia's Rotunda is one of the most iconic historical buildings in the United States. The building, designed by Thomas Jefferson, is 77 feet high and 77 feet in diameter. Along with Monticello, the Rotunda and the surrounding structures comprise one of only three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in America that were built by man in the modern era. Its neoclassical design was heavily influenced by the Roman Pantheon.

Monday, workers renovating the University of Virginia's Rotunda discovered a hidden room which had been bricked off from the rest of the building since 1850 and survived intact even through a devastating fire in 1895.

When they pulled away the bricks they found...

Image from UVA Magazine

Guns! Guns and bibles! Stacks and stacks of them! Er no, actually what they found was even better — a chemistry lab!

Huffington Post - UVA Discovers Hidden Chemistry Lab Thomas Jefferson Designed


Officials say the hearth may have been designed for John Emmet, the school's first professor of natural history, to use along with a nearby classroom.

"This may be the oldest intact example of early chemical education in this country," Brian Hogg, the university's senior historic preservation planner, said in a news release.

Science students used the five workspaces in the primitive lab setting to perform chemical experiments, the release said. Like a modern lab, the hearth contained heat sources and a ventilation system to remove fumes.




The University intends to preserve the hearth and put it on display when the renovations are completed.




posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 08:18 PM
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Very cool.
Would be interesting to compare the textbooks used back then in science classes, to today's texts and see the differences.



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 08:28 PM
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a reply to: NoCorruptionAllowed

Well, in chemistry you would have around 100 more elements and concepts like the atom and so on, there is no real comparison in chemistry and physics as most of the knowledge in that area comes from early 20th century (not classical Newtonian physics ofc)

Mathematics perhaps would be pretty similar, that comes from the Greeks and Moors.



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 08:31 PM
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GUNS GUNS GUNS!

Political diatribe aside.......

Ive always wondered if he was into Alchemy.......

Perhaps ?



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 09:00 PM
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a reply to: ManBehindTheMask

Possibly. I've read on a number of occasions that Jefferson was likely a Rosicrucian. A claim that has been made of some other FF by the Rosicrucians and which is possibly attested to by examples of a code found in some of Jefferson's papers that according to at least one researcher exists in Rosicrucian texts of Jefferson's time and earlier.



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 09:02 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian


the hearth contained heat sources and a ventilation system to remove fumes.


Who knows, maybe they were into psychedelics and this is their private Meth lab....or by way of the first "chemical education" stance, it could also be the US governments first lab associated with chemical weapons development?

Seriously though, one has to wonder - why "brick it up" as opposed to transforming the room into usable space at the time? Being an apparent chemical lab may have rendered the space uninhabitable for some reason but I can't help but think it was bricked up and preserved for a reason - it will be interesting to get the labs dimensions and see if there is any correlation to esoteric pi values in it's construction......or to see if there are any further hidden chambers, exedras or entrances.

Another awesome contribution AD, cheers



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 09:04 PM
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this is some national treasure type stuff!!!



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 09:16 PM
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a reply to: Sublimecraft

That's a very interesting point you make — why would they wall it up? I wonder if anyone from UVA's dept of chemistry has tested for residue, particularly in the ventilation?



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 09:26 PM
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Hmmmm. Maybe it's just my paranoid tendencies but something doesn't smell right here. Possible foundation for revisionism?

Anything related to the FF has a lot of pull with the American public. This kind of thing could potentially be gold to a modern propagandist.



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 10:02 PM
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The really strange thing about alchemy was that they had figured out the concept of Moles (equivalent amounts of molecules in their billions). If you wanted to react Sodium with H2O, "you must match the ratios perfectly, otherwise you were asking too much or too little of the elemental forces, and will get nothing, or even worse, harm yourself and others".

The other idea they had was about transmutation, that one element could be converted into another through the right mixing and placement of elements. The great dream was to transmutate something common such as Lead or Mercury into something valuable like Gold, with the use of some mystical element called the "Philosophers Stone". In fact, such as process was possible. But you would have needed refined radioactive isotopes to perform neutron bombardment of Lead atoms to get Gold atoms.

en.wikipedia.org...

" As a heavy element, the cosmogenic origin of gold must be in extremely energetic nuclear reactions, which occur only in high-mass stars. It has been proposed that most of heavy elements like gold are produced in neutron star collisions."



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 10:09 PM
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Maybe he was a closet Thaumaturgist.



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 10:20 PM
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a reply to: Sublimecraft

Perhaps they were working with something like thioacetone, they had a spill and it reek so much the only alternative was to wall up the lab, or demolish the building.


edit on 16-10-2015 by Indigent because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 10:32 PM
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Probably the lab was simply incomplete.

Thomas Jefferson ran out of money a lot.

The Rotunda ( a Pantheon of Science) brings to mind a cross fertilization between the sciences. The lab was meant to interact with the other sciences in the Pantheon to facilitate what ever symbiosis might happen.



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 04:41 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

TJ making crack for his polly mates back then?

Nothings changed then.....



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:51 AM
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originally posted by: cavtrooper7
Maybe he was a closet Thaumaturgist.


Or an Archanist 😆😆



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:58 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Or? Maybe it was just a fireplace. To keep the place warm?



posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:58 AM
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originally posted by: Sublimecraft
Seriously though, one has to wonder - why "brick it up" as opposed to transforming the room into usable space at the time?


Did they find a guy dressed in motley in there?

Nemo me impune lacessit



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 09:56 PM
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Cool. In fact, basic biological and chemical research, natural products are a rich source for modern scientific research. Chemistry discovery is interesting for me cause my major in in synthetic chemistry. Thanks for sharing!



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 09:58 PM
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Regardless of the apparent use of the room, it's pretty neat that little things like this can still be found after centuries and in such a public, famous place.



posted on May, 12 2016 @ 12:09 AM
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originally posted by: Ignatian
a reply to: theantediluvian

Or? Maybe it was just a fireplace. To keep the place warm?

Exactly my first thought.




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