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MAXAM Foundation
Alfred Nobel: from nitroglycerine to dynamite

MAXAM Foundation - House of the Explosive - Alfred Nobel: from nitroglycerine to dynamite

In the year 1847 the Italian Ascanio Sobrero invented nitroglycerin, a powerful product that was difficult to use due to its instability. Sudden movements or changes in its temperature could make it detonate, making it virtually impossible to use.

The display cases in the House of the Explosive recreate how it was manufactured in a two-storey workshop: glycerine, nitric acid and sulphuric acid, a cold-water current, vapours...

Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), whose father had introduced him to the manufacture of explosive products, met Ascanio Sobrero and his nitroglycerine invention in Paris in 1850. In 1856 he set up a lab on the outskirts of Stockholm and ceaselessly investigated how to use nitroglycerine while controlling its risks until he succeeded.

In his investigations he manufactured a nitrator, which we can learn about on the display panels of the House of the Explosive. Some time later Nobel came up with the solution of mixing nitrocellulose with a porous material to form a paste that was easy to manipulate and transport. This was the birth of dynamite, a product that the visionary inventor patented on September 19th 1866 in Sweden.


Last update 2021.06.21
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