Alfred Nobel

Essay by VolcomStudJunior High, 8th gradeA-, February 2004

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Who are change makers? Change makers are people who have helped change a leased one life for the better. One of these people is Alfred Nobel. Alfred Bernhard Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden on 21 October 1833. When he was eight, the family moved to Russia, where his father opened a mechanical engineering workshop. His interest in science, especially chemistry, appeared at an early age; in due course he also acquired extensive literary and philosophical knowledge, not least thanks to the ease with which he mastered foreign languages. He did most of his studying on his own, never taking any college or university examination.

He returned to Sweden in 1863 and began work as a chemist at his father's workshop at Heleneborg in Stockholm. Applying the Italian Sobrero's methods, he succeeded in further developing the explosive nitroglycerine, which he began manufacturing in Sweden in 1864. Plants subsequently opened in Germany and Norway, and then in other European countries and America.

In 1867, Nobel obtained a patent on a special type of nitroglycerine, which he called "dynamite". The invention quickly proved its usefulness in building and construction in many countries. Production went hand-in-hand with research, energetically carried out at laboratories Nobel established in Stockholm and Hamburg and later also in Paris, at Bofors, and in San Remo. The original form of dynamite was gradually replaced by gelatin dynamite, which was safer to handle. In that development, too, Nobel played a major part.

Alfred Nobel wound up with a total of 355 patents, some more imaginative than useful, others both extremely practicable and valuable. He went on experimenting in pursuit of inventions in many fields, notably with synthetic materials. Income from the many enterprises all over the world in which he had interests made him one of the wealthiest men in...