"MDMA is not a new drug. It was first synthesized by the German pharmaceutical firm Merck in 1912. Human experimentation, however, has been traced back to the early 1970s (Eisner, 1989; Shulgin, 1990)."
Beck, Jerome and Rosenbaum, Marsha, "Pursuit of Ecstasy: The MDMA Experience." Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994. p. 14.