Alchemists made the world better, and worse, by giving us poison, gunpowder, alcohol, flame throwers, and physics. Keep that in mind the next time you use one of them. They were all made by history’s real Fullmetal Alchemists, sort of.
According to Solomon Trismosin, the stages through which matter passes in its journey towards perfection are divided into twenty-two parts, each of which is represented by an appropriate drawing. There is an important connection between the twenty-two emblems of Trismosin, the twenty-two major cards of the Tarot, and the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. These mysterious Tarot cards are themselves an alchemical formula, if properly interpreted. As if to substantiate the claims of mediæval philosophers that King Solomon was a master of alchemy, Dr. Franz Hartmann has noted that the much-abused and misunderstood is in reality an alchemical formula. The student of natural philosophy will immediately recognize the "dark maid of Jerusalem," not as a person but as a sacred to the sages. Dr. Hartmann writes: "The ',' in the Old Testament, is a description of the processes of Alchemy. In this Song the is described in . ., 5; the in . ., 1; the in . ., 4; the in . ., 7, and . ., 16, the in . ., 1; in . ., 6, , . ., 9 to 14; , . ., 12, and . ., 4; , . ., 7; , . ., 8, etc., etc."
Using a loose definition, you could call chemists modern alchemists. But there were real alchemists who's main goal was to change one substance into another, usually this a cheap metal, like lead, into gold. Though the methods were primitive, the concepts are considered important work towards modern chemistry.
Basically, alchemy was the search for bling, eternal life, and Mini Me. According to legend, alchemists like John Dee and The Count of Saint Germain succeeded in creating the fabled Philosopher’s stone. But sadly, stories of the Philosopher’s stone and the wealth it brought were most likely just stories. That doesn’t mean alchemists didn’t create some awesome stuff though, much of it far more deadly than anything in Fullmetal. Let me introduce you to a few real Fullmetal Alchemists.