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Alfred Nobel: Man Changed Everything

Explosive substances were not new to people who lived in the nineteenth century. For instance, gunpowder had been known to humanity in the Middle Ages. However, it was quite unsafe to use explosive powders and many accidents were associated with unmanageable explosive substances in the eighteenth century. However, one man changed everything as he created manageable explosive called dynamite. This was the famous Alfred Nobel, whose name is now associated with the Nobel Prize. It is necessary to note that Nobel created dynamite having only good intentions in his mind. However, soon this potent explosive became a symbol of anarchy, war and destruction.

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Alfred Nobel’s father had factories which made explosives and some warfare products. Alfred new that explosives made were almost unmanageable as even during production there had been various accidents. In 1863, Nobel wrote: “I had arrived at understanding of the disadvantages with the fluid from of nitroglycerine” (qtd. in Fant 93). Nobel tried to create a solid form of the explosive. It took him three years to make his explosive oil a manageable explosive. He used kieselguhr (infusorian earth) to create the solid form of the explosive oil. He “mixed 25 percent kieselguhr with 75 percent nitroglycerine and produced a highly effective explosive substance in solid form” (Fant 93). Swedish patent of Nobel’s invention was dated September 19, 1866. This invention started quite a heated debate in the society of the eighteen century.

As has been mentioned above, Nobel intended to improve mining industry and make it safer for people. Dynamite has long been used in mining (Stoker 167). People have appreciated the convenience and comparative safety of the new explosive. However, soon people found other uses for Nobel’s invention. Russian anarchists started using dynamite to implement their terroristic attacks. Various non-state groups started using dynamite across the globe. Numerous terrorists and terroristic groups have been using dynamite since the nineteenth century. Ironically, it proved to be safer for assassins to kill their targets. Some called Nobel “the deliverer of ammunition to assassins” (qtd. in Fant 94). Of course, dynamite was excessively used during the two World Wars.

Therefore, it is possible to note that dynamite has had a huge impact on the world. On one hand, it has been used in various industries (mining predominantly). The use of this explosive made working conditions more favorable for people. The number of accidents associated with explosives decreased considerably. On the other hand, dynamite has become associated with warfare and death. Of course, it caused a lot of deaths and destruction. It even shaped the world history, to certain extent. Thus, when speaking of dynamite, it is necessary to remember about the two sides of the invention.

On balance, it is necessary to note that dynamite has made a considerable impact on humanity. It helped people develop industries which positively affected overall development of humanity. However, it is also associated with numerous deaths and a lot of destruction. This explosive is also associated with the two World Wars. Some call Nobel a horrible man who created a devastating weapon. Nonetheless, it is necessary to regard this man as a great inventor who tried to make people’s lives better and safer. This is people’s responsibility to use inventions according to their inventors’ intentions. Nobel did not mean to create a killing substance. Those were people who used his great invention for their own horrible gain.

Works Cited

Fant, Kenne. Alfred Nobel: A Biography. New York, NY: Arcade Publishing, 2006. Print.

Stoker, H. Stephen. General, Organic and Biological Chemistry. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., 2008. Print.

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