Discovery of Neurotransmitters
Back in 1920, an Austrian scientist named Otto Loewi discovered the first neurotransmitter. In his experiment (which came to him in a dream), he used two frog hearts. One heart (heart #1) was still connected to the vagus nerve. Heart #1 was placed in a chamber that was filled with saline. This chamber was connected to a second chamber that contained heart #2. So, fluid from chamber #1 was allowed to flow into chamber #2.
Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve (which was attached to heart #1) caused heart #1 to slow down. Loewi also observed that after a delay, heart #2 also slowed down.
From this experiment, Loewi hypothesized that electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve released a chemical into the fluid of chamber #1 that flowed into chamber #2. He called this chemical "Vagusstoff". We now know this chemical as the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.