Alfred Nobel: The Merchant of Death
This video is made possible by brilliance, you're gonna learn more about brilliant, later in today's video but if you'd like to learn more about them right now go, to brilliant dog slash bio graphics, you'll also find a link in the description below we. Remember him for the annual prizes that he gifted to the world without Frid Nobel also, left us with, another legacy, explosives. He was the inventor of dynamite and it's even more deadly incarnation. Gel ignite they, made him rich beyond, his wildest, dreams but also left, him with a tortured, conscience in this week's by graphics, we examine, the life of, Alfred Nobel. Alfred. Bernhard Nobel was born on August the 21st, 1833. In Stockholm, in Sweden he, was a sickly child who almost died after the first week of his birth as it was he was one of just four of eight children to, survive his illness kept him indoors while his three brothers played outside, Alfred's, father Emmanuel, was an inventor and an engineer but he struggled to realize his ambitions, and as a result of the family struggled, to get by just, three months prior to Alfred's, birth his father had been forced to declare bankruptcy and, shut, down his business Emmanuel. Was now being chased by creditors, things became almost unbearable. When a fire ravaged, the family home help me against me to the Nobel children, were sent out into the streets to sell matches alfred, was an extremely pallid, and sickly child he suffered, from epileptic, convulsions, along, with a host of gastric, diseases, and debilitating. Migraine headaches for the first six years of his life alfred, was schooled by his mother he proved himself to be a gifted student from the start by the age of three he was able to read from that time onward he was rarely, seen without a book in his hand he also had, an amazing, memory when Alfred was four years old his father moved to Russia in order to pursue a business venture Emmanuel. Had managed to get a meeting with the chairman of the Tsar's committee for the promotion, of industry, and trade he, steered the conversation, towards, the land mines his area, of expertise, and was able to secure, an invitation, to Turku to meet some influential people Emanuel, worked in Turkey for two years where he invented, the Prada we know today as plywood. He then moved to some Petersburg, there he was introduced to Tsar Nicholas the first seizing. That the opportunity, Emmanuel told the Tsar about his plans to develop a submerged, explosive. Mine, Nicholas immediately. Saw the potential to use the invention to, prevent, enemy ships from entering into Russian, waters. Things. All were now looking up for the nobles with the money he received from the Russian government as, compensation for his development of the submerged, explosive. Mine in manual, setup a mechanical, workshop and armaments, Factory as well as making the new mined the factory, also produced industrial, tools and cannon, shells in 1842. When alfred, was 9 years old emmanuel sent for his family to join him from stockholm the new life of the nobles was vastly, different, to what they had known in sweden there some petersburg, house was luxurious, in comparison, to their old home emmanuel, was now able to hire a tutor for his sons unlike, his brothers alfred, was studious, and intellectual. He was also intensely, curious about the world around him he loved the poetry, of percy shelley especially, those concerned, with the subjects, of nature, and justice, from these readings he developed a deep, desire, to stand. Up to injustice, Alfred's. Other loves were chemistry. And languages, by the time he was 17 he could speak five, languages. His father also recognized, in the boy and natural, affinity, for solving problems marking. Alfred as the most promising, of his sons to follow, in his inventive, steps the boy loved nothing better than to spend his time than his father's, factory silently, taking in everything that his dad was doing before, long his father allowed him to handle the chemicals himself, alfred, stood has encouraged. His passion, for chemistry and literature. At the same time they coaxed, him to come out of his shell socially, largely, as a result of his ill health he was a painfully, shy and introverted, boy yet with the help of his tutors he began to stretch, himself academically. In his mid-teens, he began participating in, debating, clubs and started, to share, his passions, with family members then, around the age of fifteen he had a growth spurt which put, him at the height of most of his peers this went a long way to, boost his confidence, in, 1850, Emanuel paid for alfred study in paris he had already been studying, with chemist and Nikolai is Sinan and it was chemistry that, he pursued in France. In. Paris. Alfred spent time with Ascanius, Brera who had recently invented, nitroglycerine Sobrero. Was totally, opposed to any commercial, use of his invention, due to its highly unpredictable explosive.
Potential In fact in later life he made the following statement about, his invention, when I think of all the victims killed during nitroglycerin, explosions. And the terrible, havoc, that it wreaked which, in all probability will continue, to occur in the future I am almost ashamed to, admit to, being its discoverer Sobrero. Is a version to his discovery did not put off young Nobel, in fact the reverse was true the substance fascinated. Alfred Nobel or sometta chemist by the name of Jules Pelosi, who was fascinated, with a nitroglycerin and, had, a determination, to bring it under control after a year in France Alfred went to the United States to pursue his studies there, he worked with Swedish inventor John, Ericsson Ericsson, would go on to gain fame as the inventor of ironclad, warships, used in the Civil War as well as the inventor of the screw propeller Erickson, filled Alfred's, minds with dreams of what he could do if he was able to tame the, nitroglycerine after. A year in America Alfred returned to San Petersburg his family recognized, a changed, young man his, brother Ludvig recalled Alfred, had grown so that I hardly knew him he is almost as tall as I and his, voice has become so deep and strong that I didn't, recognize it but Alfred did more than change physically the young man who had left with lots of ideas but little Direction, now had a goal, to turn my producer, in into a commercially, usable blasting. Agent for use in tunnels and to create fear-inspiring weapons, of war that was so terrible, that nations, would be deterred, from ever going to war in the first place first, though Alfred had to come to the help of the family he worked alongside his brothers in one of his father's factories, that the physical work proved too much for his weakened body he was often too sick to work and on one occasion in. 1854. He became so unwell that his father packed him off to the spar town a friend, man to recuperate by, now in Manuel's business it was flourishing his submerged, explosive, mine was in high demand along with other munitions to supply, the Russian forces in fighting the Crimean War of, 1853. Through. 1856. By, 1853. Emanuel was employing more than a thousand, people in his factories, and the Russian, government was so pleased with him that they awarded him the Imperial, gold medal in recognition, of his diligence, and creative, skill in Russian, industry, in between overseeing, his manufacturing empire, Emanuel found time to collaborate, with Alfred, on the nitroglycerin problem, but even in manual with his vast experience could. Not find a safe, way to detonate the substance the end of the Crimean, War in 1856. Saw a sharp downturn in business for the noble company Emanuel. Was forced to change his focus from armaments, production to, churning, out household, and industrial implements.
But Still the, business suffered, by, 1859. Emanuel, found himself facing bankruptcy for, the second time he closed the factory liquidate. His assets and, moved with his wife and youngest son and mill back to Sweden Alfred, and his two older brothers Ludwig and Robert stayed, on in San Petersburg, twenty-eight-year-old Ludvig was given, the job of consolidating. And running the remnants, of the nobles, Russian, operation he rebranded the company as the Ludvig noble mechanical. Factory Alfred spent about four hours each day helping, out with a family business the rest of the day he worked on his passion to tame nitroglycerin. Alfred's. First step was to learn to create nitroglycerin, himself, by 1861. He had accomplished that goal after spending up to 18 hours a day in a small factory building the first breakthrough came when he discovered how, to transport, a nitroglycerin safely. By first soaking, it in coal, dust now, suddenly nitroglycerine, was a viable explosive, engineering. Companies from all over the world came to the noble company to purchase, the products and the money started, rolling in Alfred's, next challenge was to find a safe way to detonate. The nitroglycerin in September, of 1864. Though tragedy, struck the swedish noble company factory, a vat of nitroglycerin had been overheated in the resulting explosion five, people. Killed including Alfred's. Younger brother and mil Alfred, himself was working in the next building and he suffered minor injuries in the disaster rather, than being put off from working with nitroglycerin, Alfred. Threw himself into, making, the explosive, safer to give up now would be in his view to allow his brother to have died in vain in 1865. He built a factory in Hamburg Germany it so happens that the soil around the Hamburg factory, was special, it contained, minut, particles, of fossils when, nitroglycerine was, poured into the soil it turns into, a doughy, consistency this. Process in effect puts the nitroglycerine, to, sleep in order to wake it up the detonation purposes, and about invented, the blasting, cap, Alfred knew that a fuse could not be used directly to, detonate nitroglycerine but, that gunpowder could be used to detonate it a fuse could be used to detonate, the Gunpowder which would then ignite, the nitroglycerine by, 1867. He had mastered the use of small copper capsules, of mercury fulminate which, was ignited. By a fuse to detonate. The nitroglycerin this, blasting, cap would wake, up the nitroglycerine which, was packed into a doughy soil base Nobel calls the combination, of nitroglycerine blasting. Cap and soil dynamite. Nobel patented, dynamite and began putting it on the commercial market it, was an immediate success with engineers, from all over the world hammering, to get their hands on it virtually, overnight. Alfred, became rich beyond, his wildest, dreams. We, can get an idea of how much money came, in by an anecdote, apparently, true concerning. His housemaids, wedding, when Alfred asked her what she would like as a gift the various Stuttgart replied as much, as you make in a day the, following day Nobel, gave her a check for. $100,000. Alfred himself never married but he did have at least three, great loves throughout, his life while living in Russia in his early 20s he fell for a Russian girl by the name of Alexandria. Painfully. Shy he finally, built up the gumption, to tell the girl how he felt about her but his affections, were roundly, rejected, the rebuff hurt him badly and for the next 20 years he, refused to let his heart be broken again Nobel consciously, portrayed, himself as a hermit and an eccentric, he once wrote the following about himself.
I'm A misanthrope, yet utterly benevolence, have more than one screw loose yes, a super. Idea list who digests. Philosophy, more efficiently, than, a food even, though he had money to purchase literally. Anything he wanted alfred, was rather frugal, this may have been a reflection of the extreme, poverty, that he had experienced, in his childhood he had no interest in purchasing, such tokens, of wealth as elegant, carriages, clothing or food but, would invest liberally, in new estates and business, ventures Nobel was known to have a temper it was a man who did not suffer fools with many occasions, being recorded where he was rude with people usually those who worked them he was get, to the point type of guy yet he also had the ability to charm, potential, investors, when the need warranted, it. In. 1876. Alfred apparently, tun out of his life of solitude and placed an advertisement in, the newspaper that, read as follows, wealthy, highly educated gentleman seeks lady of mature age versed, in languages, as secretary. And supervisor, of household after interviewing a number of applicants, alfred employed a woman by the name of bertha, Kinski 33. Year old bertha, was extremely, attractive, and noble was immediately, attracted to her it was also taken, with her obvious, intelligence and wit but that did not return her employers, affections, in fact she already had a fiance after a few months probably feeling, in the tease with the situation, she resigned, as noble secretary, still, the two remained friends and they maintained an active letter correspondence. Right up until the time of nobles death she, in fact became the recipient, of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905. Some. Weeks after Bertha, left his employee Nobel met a young woman by the name of Sophie Hess despite, the fact that alfred was 43, and sophie was just 20 they entered into a relationship, there was to last for eighteen years apparently, embarrassed, by the age gap Nobel, kept the relationship a secret the age difference was not the only thing that seemed to work against, the relationship, sophie, was uncouth, uneducated and. Ill-mannered, their relationship, it was a toxic one in 1891, Sophie became pregnant to another man but Alfred, held out hope for their relationship, until she married, the child's father three years later even, then he sent her an annual, allowance of six thousand florins. Nobel. Never had any children despite his immense wealth he filled his days with work often, going non-stop for 20 hours in 1875. He invented gel ignite which proved to be a safer, explosive, than dynamite in the late 1860's, alfred, set up a number of plants across Europe in the United States in June of 1866. He started the United, States blasting, oil company the first nitro company in the US he also spent increasing, amounts of time and money protecting, his patented, inventions, from fraudsters who tried, to make money off his hard work, alfred was convinced, that his invention of dynamite would ultimately be, good for mankind saying that my dynamite, will sooner lead to peace than a thousand World conventions, as soon as men will find that in one instant hole our knees can be utterly, destroyed they, surely will, abide in golden, peace as history. Has borne out his faith, in mankind it, was sadly misplaced, in 1869, while traveling in Florence no belt met Paul barber graduate, of the Ecole Polytechnique barber. Who came from an affluent family, was fascinated, with no bells dynamite, and proposed partnership. He offered to finance the production of dynamite, in France and told Nobel that he wanted to learn how to produce himself, he had no bells interest mainly because France was envied, in the industry, for that state monopolies that had held over explosives, production, the two men came to an agreement by. Which all profits would be split fifty-fifty, the French Enterprise was a success, and that soon expanded, to factories, in Spain Switzerland in, Italy in 1868, alfred set his sights on establishing, a dynamite, company in england he considered this to be the prime location as it would open up the entire british, empire as his, new market, he spent several months traveling around britain's, mining, districts, looking for suitable, factory, locations, the best chances for investment, came from Scotland after much negotiation the. British dynamite company was formed in 1871. Alfred purchased a four-story, mansion, and estate in paris as well as a greenhouse for his prized organs, and stables, for his beloved horses, the estate it also had a private laboratory for, the next decade alfred spent the bulk of his time working in this lab along, with his assistant of, georges a Ferren bark it, was here that he discovered what he considered to be dynamite, 2.0.
Gel Ignite gel, ignite was not any more stable than dynamite a calls the greater explosion, and was easier to shape overall the substance it was simply much safer, and easier to handle than dynamite the new invention was an even greater success than dynamite and it caused even more money to flow into the noble coffers, in 1881, alfred grant dissatisfied, with the facilities, in his paris mansion laboratory, he bought another estate, this one located some 15 miles from paris in the town of sevran here he builds a larger, and better-equipped slab he based himself in the town but ran into problems with the French authorities when, he refused to comply with their new regulations, and policies, which he considered to be unnecessarily. Restrictive, amazingly, the French government charged him with high crimes and treason he, was forced to close, new lab and he left for Italy the French government forbade him from ever working, in their country again prior to his ouster from France Alfred had been working on his latest invention ballast tight he, continued this work at his new lab in San Remo in Italy Palestine, was a smokeless propellants that, combines. Nitrocellulose. And nitroglycerine the, rights to the new explosive were leased to the Italian government who began using the m18, nine zero Vettel, II rifles, which used cartridges that were loaded with ballasts tight. Alfred's. Brother Ludvig, died in 1888. The newspapers, however reported, that it was the far more famous Alfred who had passed away as a result Snowbell had the rare experience, of reading his own obituary what, he read it shocked him to, his core virtually. Every, newspaper that he looked at seemed, to glory and his supposed demise. One French headline announced, the merchant of death is, dead, another, report stated dr., Alfred Nobel the mutilator, who became rich by finding, ways to kill more people faster, than ever before died. Yesterday Nobel. Was devastated. At the realization. That the end result of his life's work was to be worldwide condemnation he. Decided that he, had to do something to turn around his reputation and, whatever, time he had left in 1893, alfred employed a personal, assistant by the name of Ragnar Solman and appointed, him as the executor. Of his will the, two men worked diligently on, the documents, over the next two years then, on November the 27th, 1895. Alfred, signs the will of the Swedish, Norwegian club in Paris it, was a will like, no other Alfred, left 94. Percent of his total wealth the equivalent, of, 265. Million, 2018. Dollars to, the awarding, of a number of annual prizes to individuals, who according, to the will during, the preceding, year have conferred the greatest, benefit, on mankind the, will spelled out five, categories, physics, medicine chemistry literature. And peace, the Peace Prize was to be given to the person who has done the most or best work for fraternity. Between the nations and abolition. Or reduction, of standing armies and the formation, and spreading, of peace, congresses today, there is a sixth, agree economics, that this was not added until the end of the 20th century. In. His. Late 50s no girls health was increasingly. Causing him problems his, heart was especially weak in an attempts to self-medicate he began administering doses, of, nitroglycerin, this, quite likely contributed. To his deteriorating, state his, body finally, gave out on December, the 10th 1896. Following. A stroke he was 63. Years of age Nobel, Prizes began to be awarded five years later. So. Today's video is a great example of how science can be used for both good and for, bad and Alfred Nobel is not alone in his position in history as someone who used science, to create something, truly devastating. But if we cannot understand, him we cannot hope to control, it and when it comes to understanding science. There's really no better place to do that than at brilliance they are a learning platform which teaches you through something called active, learning, basically, this means that instead of staring at some text and complicated, diagrams, and equations you, solve, problems actively, I've been using brilliant to get a feel of how this works and it's a bit like this I don't know that sitting down when I was a student looking at a textbook and reading a paragraph and then having no idea what really happens I'd go back over it again and again and I'd still not really get it or I'd get it a little what, brilliant has absolutely, none of that each thing you read is immediately, applied I chose a random, topic in brilliant as an example for this message and in five minutes I understood, what vectors scalars, and displacement.
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