On this day (October 21), 1833, in Stockholm, Sweden, Alfred Nobel, Swedish inventor and chemist, was born.
Alfred Bernhard Nobel was a chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist. He owned 355 different patents , with dynamite being the most famous
As a young man, Nobel studied with the chemist Nikolai Zinin ; then, in 1850, he went to Paris to continue his studies of it. There he met Ascanio Sobrero , who had invented nitroglycerin three years earlier. Sobrero strongly opposed the use of nitroglycerin because it was unpredictable and would explode when subjected to variable heat or pressure. But Nobel became interested in finding a way to control and use nitroglycerin as a commercially usable explosive; it had much more power than gunpowder .
In 1851, at age 18, he went to the United States for a year to study, working for a short period with the Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson, who designed the American Civil War Battleship, USS Monitor .
Nobel filed his first patent, an English patent for a gas meter, in 1857, while his first Swedish patent, which received in 1863, dealt with "ways of preparing gunpowder".
The family factory produced weapons for the War of Crimea (1853–1856), but had difficulty returning to normal domestic production when the fighting ended and he declared himself in bankruptcy . In 1859, Nobel's father left his factory in the care of his 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 study of explosives and, especially, the safe manufacture and use of nitroglycerin. Nobel invented a detonator in 1863, and in 1865 designed the detonator .
On September 3, 1864, a shed used for the preparation of nitroglycerin exploded at the factory in Heleneborg , Stockholm, Sweden, killing five people, including Nobel's younger brother, Emil . Frightened by the accident, Nobel founded the company Nitroglycerin Aktiebolaget AB in Vinterviken so that he could continue working on a more isolated area. Nobel invented dynamite in 1867, a substance more easier and safer to handle than nitroglycerin, which is more unstable . Dynamite was patented in the US and UK and was used extensively in mining and net building international transport. In 1875, Nobel invented gelignite , more stable and powerful than dynamite, and in 1887, he patented balistite , a predecessor of cordite
Nobel was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1884, the same institution that would later select the winners of two of the Nobel Prize winners, and received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University in 1893.
In 1888, the death of his brother Ludvig caused several newspapers to mistakenly publish obituaries of Alfred. A French newspaper condemned him for his invention of military explosives and is said to have prompted his decision to leave a better legacy after his death. The obituary read, Le marchand de la mort est mort ("The merchant of death is dead ") and goes on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who got rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday." Nobel read the obituary and was horrified that he would be remembered this way. His decision to posthumously donate most of his wealth to fund the Nobel Prize has been attributed, at least in part, to his desire to leave a better legacy.
As a curiosity to comment that on November 27, 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Nobel signed his last will and testament and reserved most of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, which would be awarded annually without distinction of nationality. After taxes and bequests to individuals, Nobel's will allocated 94% of his total assets, SEK 31,225,000, to establish the five Nobel Prize winners. This became £1,687,837 (GBP) at the time. In 2012, the capital amounted to about SEK 3.1 billion (US$472 million, €337 million), which is almost double the initial capital, taking into account inflation