Alfred Nobel was the creator of the Nobel Prizes which he saw as prizes for the greatest benefits to mankind. An interesting concept when you learn he was actually the inventor of one of the deadly explosives on Earth: dynamite.
Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm in Sweden in 1833 and his family was part of the Olof Rudbeck family, some of the highest regarded technical engineers ever to come out of Sweden. They formed their know how during the 17th century when Sweden was a great economic power of Northern Europe.
Nobel was actually fluent in many languages and even wrote poetry, had a great interest in everything that was peace related. Which is why it becomes so strange that his greatest invention was to do with blowing things up: dynamite. He made it in 1866 and ensured he had the patent for the legal rights to creating dynamite. Even innovating his invention with a blasting cap and fuse. Mostly it was made for drilling, helping construction work cut down the costs of drilling tunnels and blasting rocks.
Soon dynamite was needed all over the world, Nobel set up factories in over 90 different places and had a presence in 20 different countries. You could say he was the first global explosive manufacturer.
He died in 1896 and had no children or wife to inherit his fortune. In his last testament, he had advised he wanted his fortune to be used for prizes to those who had done the very best for humanity. Many were not happy with his will, distant relatives questioned its authority and it took over four years just to iron out his will with all parties.
In 1901, the first Nobel prizes and the peace prize were awarded. Nobel the man that was known as “Europe’s richest vagabond” had achieved what he had set out to, as ironic as it may seem an explosive manufacturer sponsors the Nobel peace prize.