The explosive origins of the Nobel Prizes

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Alfred Nobel, creator of the famous Nobel Prizes, was a paradox: An arms dealer in life, Nobel decided in death to use his dynamite fortune to fund a peaceful foundation

For nearly a millennium, gunpowder reigned supreme as the world’s premium explosive. Stable and safe, it was ideal for munitions. But after the industrial revolution in the 19th century, activities such as mining increasingly necessitated far more explosive power.

Three years later, in 1867, Nobel stumbled on the discovery that would make him a household name. Purely by chance, he observed that the porous sedimentary rock known as diatomaceous earth has the property of absorbing nitroglycerin. On testing the resulting mixture he found, to his excitement, that it was an effective explosive but far more stable than pure nitroglycerin. Nobel termed the compound “dynamite” from the GreekPlease be respectful of copyright. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

The Nobel family’s links to the arms trade were undeniable. Shortly before his death, Nobel acquired the Bofors foundry . Nor did Nobel harbor especially progressive views. He opposed women’s right to vote and acted in a notably paternalistic manner toward his factory workers. Stockholm’s City Hall hosts a banquet after the Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and literature are awarded.Nobel’s relatives, who had been all but disinherited, were also unhappy.

 

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Forever tarnished after giving Obama the prize as he bombed Syria. Prize has lost all credibility.

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