In these hectic dangerous times I for one am glad we at least have this award, an award that gives credit to anyone who has tried to create harmony around the world. But who was Alfred Nobel and why did he create this award. The answer may surprise you and may be an expression of the grief and guilt felt by Alfred Nobel after the death of his brother Emil.
Alfred Bernhard Nobel was born on the 21st October 1833 in Stockholm Sweden. He moved to Italy and purchased a villa in Sanremo in 1891 and mostly stayed there until his death in 1896. Since 2002 the villa has housed a permanent exhibit on the most important discoveries of the 19th century including the research interests of Nobel himself.
Amazingly this lover of peace was a chemist, engineer, innovator, armaments manufacturer and the inventor of Dynamite. He also owned Bofors a large major armaments manufacturer, which he had changed from its previous role as an iron and steel mill. It was from the enormous fortune he made from the manufacture of these products of death that the institute of the Nobel Prizes were created from.
In 1833 his Father Immanuel Nobel, who was credited with inventing modern plywood, decided to go to Saint Petersburg where he promptly decided to open a torpedo works. This is where Alfred first worked. It was while in St Petersburg that Alfred got his love for Chemistry studying under Professor Nikolay Nikolaevich Zinn but at the young age of 18 in 1851 Alfred decided to go to the United States to continue his studies. Alfred stayed in the United States for four years and it was while studying he had the good fortune to meet John Ericsson who offered him friendship and employment. In 1855 after completing his studies Alfred decided to return to Sweden along with his father. During his absence the factory had been greatly enlarged this was completed by his brother Ludvic Nobel.So Alfred Nobel decided to devote himself to the study of explosives and especially to the safe manufacture of Nitroglycerine discovered in 1847 by Ascanio Sobrero.
It was while continuing his experiments in 1864 in Heleneborg Stockholm that a massive explosion occurred at there factory, killing five people, among them Alfred’s younger brother Emil Oskar Nobel
This was to change Alfred for the rest of his life and some say he never recovered. It was only on his death bed and with the release of his last will and testement that the funds were released to set up the Nobel Prize Institute.
As mentioned at the top of this article, I am glad we have this very Nobel Prize but it would be a better world today if we did not have these things of mass destruction, around at all.