How the Nobel Prize Was Born: A Surprising Story!

How the Nobel Prize Was Born: A Surprising Story!


“My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant, whole armies can be utterly destroyed, they surely will abide by golden peace” , were the words of Sir Alfred Nobel , who we know as the founder of the Nobel prize.

But do you know the controversial side of Alfred Nobel?

Alfred Nobel was born on 21st October 1833 , in Stockholm. His father was an engineer and was struggling to come out of bankruptcy. Alfred was the fourth child born to the Nobels and barely survived his first few days.

Prosperity reached Nobel’s doors only after his father moved to Russia and started selling military equipments and machine parts. His father became so equipped that he sent him for further studies to Paris.


In Paris , he worked with some Ascanio Sobrero, who had invented the nitroglycerin, which was very unstable and unpredictable. Nobel wanted to convert nitroglycerin in a more stable form.

This journey wasn’t that easy as it took millions of lives. A small shed used for storing the nitroglycerin blew up, killing his younger brother in the process. Other minor accidents also followed, but he was determined to complete his project.


Through all the ups and downs , finally in 1867 , when was 34 , he succeeded. He finally developed dynamite , a stable version of nitroglycerin. While developing and discovering more about the dynamite , Alfred Nobel was struck by a sorrow. He soon came to know what the world thought about his inventions.



In 1888, his elder brother Ludwig died. But some newspaper erroneously printed -“The Merchant of Death is Dead”(“Le marchand de la mort est mort”) .“Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday,” it stated further.

His intention was never killing people . He was himself a pacifist . But , his inventions were being used in military operations . Maybe unintentionally , but he did contribute to the weapons of destruction.


In an attempt to improve his legacy, Alfred Nobel took a step which changed history , by donating all his earnings to an organization which gave awards to the people for their contribution in the field of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace!

In his lifetime Alfred filled for 355 patents. Alfred Nobel died on December 10, 1896 and the awards were first given out in 1901.


No one knows the nobility of Mr.Nobel . He is credited for the establishment of Noble award but is criticized for the discovery of dynamite. He was also a misanthrope and said – “numerous friends are to be found only among dogs” . Maybe Alfred Nobel had some unexpected secrets.


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