A recording industry patent from the 1960s forms the inspiration for designing new core–shell Fischer–Tropsch catalysts. By tweaking the deposition and layer-growth process, G. Rothenberg et al. show in their Communication on page 4397 ff. how uniform spherical particles of iron oxide coated with a 1 nm cobalt shell can be prepared. Pelleted together with nanosized alumina particles, these catalysts are stable up to 673 K, and give good diesel fractions under Fischer–Tropsch conditions.