Alfred Nobel — страница 2

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the episode of bankruptcy and paucity had left its blemish on Alfred?s disposition and psyche. As he matured he gained a certain reputation for being ?gloomy, sarcastic, and misanthropic?.2 In the struggle to give Alfred and his brothers the material necessities Immanuel, their father, also bestowed upon them the ?full benefit of?mechanical and technical knowledges?.4 There was always an inventive aroma in the air in the house of the Nobels?. Such an approach to life and existence instilled in Alfred Nobel a respect for science and a fascination with scientific quests. In the mid 1800s Alfred began studying foreign languages. His ability to engage in discourse and write in multiple languages ?intensified his broad world outlook?4, and afforded him an opportunity to become more

cultured and worldly. Alfred lived in Paris for some time studying French and looking to establish a career. Soon after he traveled to America to study Engineering under a Swedish engineer, Ericsson, however Alfred did not stay long enough to gain the title of engineer.3 Evlanoff and Fluor in discussing Alfred Nobel?s experience with engineering make a distinction between Nobel?s mentality and that of an engineer. ?Engineering could never have suited Alfred. He was no automaton of science, no robot duplicating technical operations of other men. Even at this time of youth, his scientific interests lay in working out his original ideas and schemes.?3 Evidently, through his lifetime Alfred was an inventor. He was motivated by novel and original thought and did not wish to be a

simple machination of the industrial process. He wanted to discover, learn, and apply, not simply apply. Along his travels and journeys Alfred realized that his primary interest was to be chemistry. He pursued a position in the free laboratory of the noted Professor Pelouze in Paris.4 In 1853 the Crimean war had begun. It was this war that first introduced Alfred to the realm of explosives. His father and brothers were manufacturing sea mines for the Russian Tsar, Nicholas I.4 It is very likely that at this point in his life Alfred felt a yearning to improve upon the primitive 500-year old gunpowder being used at that time. Professor Zinin then introduced him, in 1855, to the ?? problem of nitroglycerine?. Many men, French, Swedish, Italian, and Russian cleared the way for Alfred

Nobel?s work with dynamite. One of these men, Sobrero, is the one who actually discovered the compound nitroglycerine. But, ?as his biographers Molinari and Quartieri observe, he did not know how to make practical use of his discovery.?5 Sobrero had deemed nitroglycerine too dangerous for uses outside of medicine. However the onset of the Crimean War spurred Alfred?s interest in its use as an explosive. Events following the end of the war and death of Nicholas I led to more hardship for the Nobel family. However, Alfred?s love for invention and innovation had been instigated. Following a return to his mother country Alfred immediately commenced on his journey of discovery and invented a detonator in which a primary small scale explosion leads to a larger second explosion.3 After

the legal documentation had been taken care of and Alfred had received the patent for the detonator he and his father began work on the production of nitroglycerine at Heleneborg. At this time Alfred?s youngest brother Oscar-Emil also became involved with the work due to the need for cutting labor costs. At this point Alfred and his father were tragically reminded of the peril of nitroglycerine due to the Heleneborg disaster in which Emil was killed as well as some others.4 After this point both Alfred and Immanuel were emotionally traumatized. Soon after Emil?s death Alfred focused on the manufacturing methods of nitroglycerine and eventually created conditions in which it was rendered harmless. In speaking of Alfred Nobel?s response to the death of his brother Evlanoff states:

?He blamed himself with bitterness? He mourned that he had not been able to accomplish this sooner, so Emil need not have died. He could never forget the dreadful day of the Heleneborg disaster to the end of his life.?3 Following the Heleneborg disaster, Alfred experienced much success and fortune from his invention of dynamite. Immanuel Nobel passed away on September 3, 1872 and Alfred was left without his father.3 Such losses manifested themselves in Alfred?s psyche and disposition. Alfred wrote to Bertha von Suttner: ?There is nothing more that I love than to feel myself capable of enthusiasm. But this faculty was considerably diminished by my life experiences and my fellow men.?5 The remainder of Alfred?s life consisted of building upon his fortune and pursuing his love,