xxxxxIt was in 1866 that the Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Bernhard Nobel -
ALFRED BERNHARD NOBEL 1833 -
(W4, Va, Vb, Vc)
Nobel: date and artist unknown. Mad Scientist: free clipart. Intibah: by the Russian marine artist Lev Lagorio (1828-
xxxxxThe Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Bernhard Nobel is remembered today for the creation of the Nobel Prizes, awarded annually to people who have “conferred the greatest benefits on mankind”. Bequeathed in his last will of 1895, and introduced in 1901, these prestigious awards were able to be financed from the huge fortune he made from the manufacture of explosives following his invention of dynamite in 1866 and gelignite in 1875. He became in his life time one of the first international giants of industry.
xxxxxNobel was born in Stockholm and was educated at St. Petersburg where his father, a military engineer, was working on underwater mines and torpedoes for the Russian government. After gaining a good knowledge of chemistry from local tutors, and the fundamentals of engineering from his father, he spent a year in Paris studying chemistry and then travelled in Western Europe and the United States. While in America he studied for a time under John Ericsson, the Swedish-
xxxxxOn returning to St. Petersburg Nobel worked in his father’s factory, but with the end of the Crimean War in 1856 the demand for munitions virtually dried up, and the company was declared bankrupt three years later. The family returned to Sweden, and it was then that Nobel began working on the development of explosives based on the adaptation of liquid nitroglycerine. This chemical compound, discovered by the Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero (1812-
xxxxxIn 1866 Nobel finally found a comparatively safe way of handling nitro-
xxxxxThe discovery of dynamite -
xxxxxToday, however, Nobel’s significant contribution as a scientist is scarcely known by the public at large. He is almost exclusively remembered for his prestigious Nobel Prizes, first awarded in 1901. As we shall see, it was in 1895 (Vc), that, for one reason or another, the man who, willy-
xxxxxIncidentally, experimenting with nitro-
xxxxx…… Ballistite, invented by Nobel in 1887, was a precursor of cordite, a more powerful propellant which was being developed in the United Kingdom at about the same time by the chemists Sir Frederick Abel and James Dewar. Nobel claimed that his patent on ballistite covered cordite, but this was strongly contested by the British government and he lost his case in 1895.
xxxxxIt was in 1866 that a new and deadly sea weapon was produced, the self-
xxxxxIncidentally, the name torpedo was coined by Robert Fulton, the American inventor who designed the Nautilus, the first practical submarine, in 1801. As we have seen, he also developed an underwater contact mine during the Napoleonic Wars and named it after a fish that emits an electrical discharge. It was later attached to a long pole as a means of reaching the hull of an enemy vessel, but it did not prove very effective. ……
xxxxx…… The first vessel to be struck by a Whitehead torpedo was the Turkish steamer Intibah, sunk during the Russo-
xxxxx…… Whitehead also designed pumps to drain the Lombardy marshes in northern Italy, and made notable improvements in the manufacture of silk-