Alfred Nobel Inventions

Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1867, a substance easier and safer to handle than the more unstable nitroglycerin.

Nobel patented Dynamite in the US and the UK. Mining and Infrastructure company uses dynamite in building of transport networks internationally.

Alfred Nobel Image
Alfred Nobel Image

In 1875 Nobel invented gelignite, more stable and powerful than dynamite, and in 1887 patented ballistite, a predecessor of cordite.

Alfred Nobel Education

As a young man, Nobel studied with chemist Nikolai Zinin; then, in 1850, went to Paris to further the work.

At age 18, he went to the United States for one year to study, working for a short period under Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson.

Alfred Nobel Biography

Born in Stockholm, Alfred Nobel was the third son of Immanuel Nobel (1801–1872), an inventor and engineer, and Carolina Andriette (Ahlsell) Nobel (1805–1889).

The couple married in 1827 and had eight children. The family was impoverished, and only Alfred and his three brothers survived past childhood. Alfred Nobel’s interest in technology was inherited from his father, an alumnus of Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

The family factory produced armaments for the Crimean War (1853–1856), but had difficulty switching back to regular domestic production when the fighting ended and they filed for bankruptcy.

In 1859, Nobel’s father left his factory in the care of the second son, Ludvig Nobel (1831–1888), who greatly improved the business.

Nobel and his parents returned to Sweden from Russia and Nobel devoted himself to the study of explosives, and especially to the safe manufacture and use of nitroglycerin. Nobel invented a detonator in 1863, and in 1865 designed the blasting cap.

On 3 September 1864, a shed used for preparation of nitroglycerin exploded at the factory in Heleneborg, Stockholm, killing five people, including Nobel’s younger brother Emil.

Dogged and unfazed by more minor accidents, Nobel went on to build further factories, focusing on improving the stability of the explosives he was developing.

Nobel invented dynamite in 1867, a substance easier and safer to handle than the more unstable nitroglycerin.

Alfred Nobel Prize

In 1888, the death of his brother Ludvig caused several newspapers to publish obituaries of Alfred in error. One French newspaper published an obituary titled “Le marchand de la mort est mort” (“The merchant of death is dead”).

Nobel read the his obituary that appalled him as he would be remembered in this way. He made decision to posthumously donate the majority of his wealth to found the Nobel Prize as he want to leave better legacy behind.

On 27 November 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Nobel signed his last will and testament. He set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes. 

The Academy award first three of these prizes for eminence in physics, chemistry and medical science. The Academy award fourth & fifth prize for literary work “in an ideal direction” and the global peace.

Alfred Nobel Quotes

A heart can no more be forced to love than a stomach can be forced to digest food by persuasion.

Contentment is the only real wealth.

I intend to leave after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I am skeptical as to its results.

The savants will write excellent volumes. There will be laureates. But wars will continue just the same until the forces of the circumstances render them impossible.

If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.

Alfred Nobel Death

On December 10, 1896, Alfred Nobel succumbed to a lingering heart ailment, suffered a stroke, and died.

Unbeknownst to his family, friends or colleagues, he had left most of his wealth in trust, in order to fund the awards that would become known as the Nobel Prizes. His family buried him in Norra begravningsplatsen in Stockholm.

Alfred Nobel Facts

He became an agnostic in youth and was an atheist later in life.

Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences elected Nobel in 1884. The same institution that would later select laureates for two of the Nobel prizes. He received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University in 1893.

During his life Patent office issued 355 patents internationally to Nobel.  During his life he established more than 90 armaments factories, despite his apparently pacifist character.

Despite the lack of formal secondary and tertiary level education, Nobel gained proficiency in six languages: Swedish, French, Russian, English, German and Italian. He also developed sufficient literary skill to write poetry in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *