Sometimes, some genes run in the family that is passed down from generation to generation. It is all about determination and interests to develop what has been already established to a greater height. From being frail to becoming a man of steel who would invent explosives that will become the pride of military force and launching one of the most prestigious awards.
Today’s story is about Swedish inventor, Alfred Nobel, born to an engineer and inventor, Immanuel Nobel and Karolina Andriette Nobel, and was the third among their eight children. Due to impoverishment, only Alfred and his three brothers managed to survive childhood while others perished. He inherited the interest in technology from his father and began an inquiry into making explosives, a principle he learned from his father at a very young age. At the age of 17, he could speak Swedish, Russian, English, French, and German fluently with his English literature and poetry interest.
To widen his knowledge of chemical engineering, his father sent him abroad for further training. Due to bankruptcy, Alfred’s progress was stalled for a while as there was no money to finance him. Aside from that, he was so frail that he could easily fall sick, which made him closer to his mother. Despite the trials that faced him and his family, he maintained his strong interest in nitroglycerine and a dream of inventing it for construction purposes even when he lost his brother to a blast during his research.
Being a young man who studied with Nikolai Zinin and meeting Ascanio Sobrero, the inventor of nitroglycerin, he developed a passion for controlling and using nitroglycerin for commercial purposes. His breakthrough began when he invented a detonator in 1863 after returning to Sweden with his parent. He achieved this through his concentration on the study of explosives, and in 1865, he invented the blasting cap. He founded Nitroglycerin Aktiebolaget AB in Vinterviken, and by 1867, he invented dynamite which was easier to use than nitroglycerin. This led to dynamite being patented, used extensively in the UK and US for mining and transport network construction.
Determined to achieve more, Alfred Nobel invented gelignite, a better alternative to dynamite. In 1887, he discovered patented ballistite which further led to the invention of cordite. His effort got him the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences membership in 1884, and Uppsala gave him an honorary doctorate in 1893. He decided to immortalize his legacy by founding the Nobel Prize, which he stated must be given to anyone who merits it without any bias or prejudice. The award “Nobel Prize” is widely known and recognized as one of the biggest achievements any individual can attain.
With the Nobel Prize’s creation, he will forever be remembered until the end of time amidst humanity for creating a platform that recognizes individual achievement. Also, whenever we use explosives, Alfred Nobel will continue to be immortalized by scientists.