36 Facts About Alfred Nobel


Alfred Bernhard Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist.


Alfred Nobel is known for having bequeathed his fortune to establish the Nobel Prize, though he made several important contributions to science, holding 355 patents in his lifetime.


Alfred Nobel displayed an early aptitude for science and learning, particularly in chemistry and languages; he became fluent in six languages and filed his first patent at the age of 24.


Alfred Nobel embarked on many business ventures with his family, most notably owning the company Bofors, which was an iron and steel producer that he had developed into a major manufacturer of cannons and other armaments.


Alfred Nobel was later inspired to donate his fortune to the Alfred Nobel Prize institution, which would annually recognize those who "conferred the greatest benefit to humankind".


Alfred Nobel was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which, pursuant to his will, would be responsible for choosing the Alfred Nobel laureates in physics and in chemistry.


Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway on 21 October 1833.


Alfred Nobel was the third son of Immanuel Nobel, an inventor and engineer, and Karolina Andriette Nobel.


Alfred Nobel invented the veneer lathe and started work on the torpedo.


For 18 months, from 1841 to 1842, Alfred Nobel went to the only school he ever attended as a child, in Stockholm.


Alfred Nobel gained proficiency in Swedish, French, Russian, English, German, and Italian.


Alfred Nobel developed sufficient literary skill to write poetry in English.


Alfred Nobel's Nemesis is a prose tragedy in four acts about the Italian noblewoman Beatrice Cenci.


Alfred Nobel was Lutheran and regularly attended the Church of Sweden Abroad during his Paris years, led by pastor Nathan Soderblom who received the Alfred Nobel Peace Prize in 1930.


Alfred Nobel became an agnostic in youth and was an atheist later in life, though he still donated generously to the Church.


Alfred Nobel traveled for much of his business life, maintaining companies in Europe and America while keeping a home in Paris from 1873 to 1891.


Alfred Nobel remained a solitary character, given to periods of depression.


Alfred Nobel remained unmarried, although his biographers note that he had at least three loves, the first in Russia with a girl named Alexandra who rejected his proposal.


Alfred Nobel was awarded the 1905 Nobel Peace prize "for her sincere peace activities".


Alfred Nobel died on 10 December 1896, in Sanremo, Italy, at his very last residence, Villa Nobel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.


Alfred Nobel filed his first patent, an English patent for a gas meter, in 1857, while his first Swedish patent, which he received in 1863, was on "ways to prepare gunpowder".


In 1859, Alfred Nobel's father left his factory in the care of the second son, Ludvig Alfred Nobel, who greatly improved the business.


Alfred Nobel invented a detonator in 1863, and in 1865 designed the blasting cap.


Fazed by the accident, Alfred Nobel founded the company Nitroglycerin Aktiebolaget AB in Vinterviken so that he could continue to work in a more isolated area.


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


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


Alfred Nobel was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1884, the same institution that would later select laureates for two of the Alfred Nobel prizes, and he received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University in 1893.


Alfred Nobel invested in these and amassed great wealth through the development of these new oil regions.


Alfred Nobel found that when nitroglycerin was incorporated in an absorbent inert substance like kieselguhr it became safer and more convenient to handle, and this mixture he patented in 1867 as "dynamite".


Alfred Nobel demonstrated his explosive for the first time that year, at a quarry in Redhill, Surrey, England.


Alfred Nobel later combined nitroglycerin with various nitrocellulose compounds, similar to collodion, but settled on a more efficient recipe combining another nitrate explosive, and obtained a transparent, jelly-like substance, which was a more powerful explosive than dynamite.


On 27 November 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament and set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Alfred Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality.


Alfred Nobel had opened the door to technological awards, but had not left instructions on how to deal with the distinction between science and technology.


Alfred Nobel was accused of high treason against France for selling Ballistite to Italy, so he moved from Paris to Sanremo, Italy, in 1891.


Petrogradskaya Embankment is the street where Alfred Nobel's family lived until 1859.


Criticism of Alfred Nobel focuses on his leading role in weapons manufacturing and sales, and some question his motives in creating his prizes, suggesting they are intended to improve his reputation.