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Thu Oct 15, 2015, 09:42 AM

Secret Jefferson-Era Chemistry Lab Discovered in UVa Rotunda

It was curiosity that lead Matt Schiedt to crawl into a brick hole in the Rotunda's wall.

Schiedt, a project manager for John G. Waite Associates, specializes in historic buildings. He is overseeing the renovation of the University of Virginia Rotunda and wanted to know how thick the walls were.

"I was laying on my back looking up inside this little space. I saw that there was a piece of cut stone which is very unusual to have in this location. You could see that there was a square cut in the stone and that there was a finished space around that with plaster and painted walls," Schiedt said.

Upon further investigation, he realized he uncovered a piece of history. A chemistry lab designed by Thomas Jefferson and built in the early 1820s, toward the end of the Rotunda's construction.

Two brick niches were uncovered during renovations in the 1970s, but researchers didn't realized there was more to the work space.

"The experiments would be done at the higher level where the stone is almost like a counter top, there may have been an iron plate or grill there," said Schiedt.

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http://www.newsplex.com/home/headlines/Secret-Jefferson-Era-Chemistry-Lab-Discovered-in-UVa-Rotunda-332966541.html?device=phone&c=y

6 replies, 1109 views

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Reply Secret Jefferson-Era Chemistry Lab Discovered in UVa Rotunda (Original post)
n2doc Oct 2015 OP
haikugal Oct 2015 #1
underpants Oct 2015 #2
eppur_se_muova Oct 2015 #4
packman Oct 2015 #3
hunter Oct 2015 #5
progressoid Oct 2015 #6

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 09:57 AM

1. Cool..

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 10:37 AM

2. Mr. Jefferson was a closet scientist



Fascinating that it went all these years unknown.

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 12:04 PM

4. Well, he was well known to be a scientist, just not a chemist.

Of course, in those days, there were no real boundaries between disciplines, and they still called themselves "natural philosophers".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson#American_Philosophical_Society

http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/jeffersons-old-bones

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 11:11 AM

3. Jefferson's secret lab

what a jewel. Wouldn't it be something if a notebook was found with solutions to energy problems, pollution and world hunger? After all the guy had an IQ somewhere near 200.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Oct 15, 2015, 01:58 PM

5. Why am I thinking "SECRET DRUG LAB EXPOSED!"


Wow, Thomas, these cannabis edibles are really good...



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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2015, 07:39 PM

6. That hearth probably caused the fire of 1895!

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