“If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.” – Alfred Nobel
Full Name : Alfred Bernhard Nobel
Born : October 21, 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden
Died : December 10, 1896 in Sanremo, Italy at the age of 63
7 amazing facts about Alfred Nobel :
Alfred Bernhard Nobel was the brain behind the Nobel Awards. He was a Swedish inventor, businessman and philanthropist who gained worth through manufacturing of explosives. Nobel was the inventor of dynamite. The synthetic element nobelium was named in his honour. A monument is created in Saint Petersburg in his honour. In 1901, the first Nobel Prize was awarded.
1) Nobel Prize
Alfred Nobel conceived the idea of instituting the Nobel Prize after a newspaper mistakenly took him to be his brother Ludwig who died in an explosion. The newspaper published an obituary titled “The merchant of death is dead”, which criticized him for profiting from inventing an arms for in killing people. In order to right his wrongs, he added to his last will that Nobel Prize be established after his death.
As a child, Nobel developed interest in the making of explosive. He grew with this interest and in 1857 patented a gas meter and in 1863 also patented ‘ways to prepare gunpowder’. He continued with his inventions and by his death, he had 350 patents with 90 armament factories.
In 1867, Nobel patented dynamite after discovering that nitroglycerin was added to kieselguhr, it became safer to handle for a while. His first demonstration of dynamite was at a quarry in Redhill, Surrey, England. In 1876, he patented another explosive, gelignite, which was more powerful than dynamite.
4) His Father Was also an Inventor
Nobel’s father, Immanuel Nobel was an engineer and inventor of explosives. He is the inventor of the rotary lathe used in the manufacturing of plywood. It was through him that Nobel gained interest in explosive and inventions.
5) His Younger Died of Explosive
Nobel’s younger brother Emil died in an explosion caused by nitroglycerin in 1864. Nitroglycerin was one of the main ingredients in producing explosives. Emil died with four other people who were working in his family Swedish factory.
6) He Was Accused of Treason
Nobel spent most of his life in France until he was accused of treason against France for selling arms to Italy. Italy and France were at the time involved in a battle. This made him leave France to Sanreno in Italy.
Despite instituting the Nobel Prize, critics have never forgiven Nobel for his invention and manufacturing of weapons. They argue that he only created the Prize to improve his reputation after his death.