Observations placeholder

The story of Thomas Midgley



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 20


A description of the experience

from a website on leaded petrol and its history

Thomas Midgley, Jr. was responsible for lead being added to petrol as well as the commercial use of CFCs. Environmental historian J.R. McNeil has stated that Midgley had the greatest negative impact on the environment than any other single organism in world history.  

For example in  1923, Midgley took a prolonged vacation to cure himself of lead poisoning resulting from his work with leaded petrol. 

He said "After about a year's work in organic lead, I find that my lungs have been affected and that it is necessary to drop all work and get a large supply of fresh air."

Despite this, when Midgley became vice president of the  General Motors Chemical Company (GMCC) and after over 20 deaths and several cases of lead poisoning at the various plants causing  hallucinations and  insanity,  Midgley participated in a press conference to demonstrate the apparent safety of TEL.

In this demonstration, he poured TEL over his hands, then placed a bottle of the chemical under his nose and inhaled its vapor for sixty seconds, declaring that he could do this every day without succumbing to any problems whatsoever.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps