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Alfred Nobel Founder

Alfred Nobel

Chemist, Inventor, Awesome Administrator, Social Reformer.

"It could and should soon come to pass that all states pledge themselves collectively to attack an aggressor. That would make war impossible, and would force even the most brutal and unreasonable Power to appeal to a court of arbitration, or else keep quiet."

Alfred Nobel Founder

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Alfred Nobel. Image: nobelprize.org

Alfred Nobel wrote in his final Will on 27th Nov 1895 that a large amount of his wealth was to be used for establishing the Nobel Prize for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace. Nobel was a chemist and chemical engineer. The last three prizes are based on his interests. The prizes are being awarded since 1901.

Alfred Nobel founded many laboratories and factories in various countries such as Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland. With his elder brothers Robert and Ludvig he had owned oil fields in Azerbaijan in Baku by the Caspian Sea. By the time he passed away in 1896 he had established companies in about 20 countries. Also his patents were being used to manufacture explosives in hundreds of factories worldwide.

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The Brothers Nobel (Branobel) factory, office and residence located near the Samson quay in St. Petersburg, Russia. Source: nobelprize.org

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Research laboratory in Ardeer, Scotland around 1880. Source: nobelprize.org
The birthplace of dynamite: Inside the crumbling remains of the Scottish factory where renowned chemist Alfred Nobel first produced the explosive in 1870. Stunning pictures. Daily Mail article.

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The Laboratory, Sevran, France. Source: nobelprize.org

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Alfred Nobel's laboratory in Bofors, Sweden. Source: nobelprize.org

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Newspaper advertisement for NOBEL's DYNAMIT; "Deutsch-Südwestafrikanische Zeitung"; Swakopmund, 1906-November-10. Date: April 2012. Author: Hans Grimm. Source: Wikimedia Commons.110

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was established in 1968 by a donation from Sweden's central bank, the Sveriges Riksbank, on the bank's 300th anniversary. The prize is being awarded since 1969. Please note that this prize was not instituted by Alfred Nobel. However the prize is announced with the other Nobel Prize laureates and they receive the award at the same ceremony.

Alfred Nobel's Will

Alfred Bernhard Nobel signed his will on November 27, 1895, in Paris, France. The part of Nobel's will pertaining to the Prize:

"The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiology or medical works by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm, and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be Scandinavian or not."

A draft ended by stating that the most worthy shall receive the prize "…man or woman."

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Alfred Nobel's will, 27 November 1895, page 1. Date: October 2011. Source Wikimedia Commons.

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Alfred Nobel's last will dated November 27th, 1895. Date: December 2008. Source: Wikimedia commons

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Alfred Nobel signed his will: Paris date 27 November 1895 Alfred Bernhard Nobel. Source: nobelprize.org.

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Emmanuel Nobel (1859-1932), Alfred Nobel's favorite nephew, living in Russia, wanted Nobel's wishes to be respected. Emmanuel told Ragnar Sohlman, executor of Will, about the Russian concept that the executor is "the spokesman of the soul" of the testator. Source: Valentin Alexandrovich Serov (1865-1911), Russian Painter/Wikipedia.

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Ragnar Sohlman, [1870-1948], chemical engineer. Alfred Nobel's lab assistant. 26 yrs old and 36 yrs. younger to Alfred Nobel. Later, along with Engineer Rudolf Lilljequist, he was executor of Nobel's will. If not for him, the will would not have materialized. It would have been a piece of paper in a museum. Nobel's assets were located in several countries. Sohlman and Lilljequist moved the assets to Sweden. French authorities would possibly obstruct the assets being taken out of France. From the banks in Paris, on a horse drawn carriage, they collected the shares, bonds and other documents. In crates, they shipped the documents by rail to Sweden as registered luggage! Author of book, 'The legacy of Alfred Nobel: the story behind the Nobel prizes'. This book is written with great love and respect for his boss. Image: nobelprize.org.

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Main building of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Frescati, Norra Djurgården, Stockholm. This Institute selects the persons to be awarded The Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry. Image: Wikimedia commons.

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The Royal Caroline Medico-Surgical Institute at Hantverkargatan in Stockholm. This Institute selects the persons to be awarded The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Image: nobelprize.org.

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The Swedish Academy, Stockholm, founded in 1786 by Swedish King Gustav III. The Nobel Committee, elected for a 3 year term from among its 18 members, selects the person [s] to be awarded The Nobel Prize for Literature. Photo: Wikipedia.

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Norwegian Storting [Parliament], Oslo. A committee of five persons elected by the Norwegian Storting selects the persons to be awarded The Nobel Prize for Peace. Image: Norwegian Storting

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Nobel Peace Center, museum about the Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo, Norway. Author Sean Hayford O'Leary. 30 July 2007. Source: Flickr/Wikimedia Commons.

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The first Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in 1901 at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Source: nobelprize.org.

Irwin Abrams

WHERE THERE'S A WILL… THE STRUGGLE OVER ALFRED NOBEL'S TESTAMENT By Irwin Abrams. Published in Scanorama (November 1994): 18-20, as "Nobel's Lieutenants." Illustrated.

“One comes to be of just such stuff as that on which the mind is set” - Maithri Upanishath, VI.34:3

“…the peace that is found in libraries and laboratories…” - Louis Pasteur
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Alfred Nobel
Photo: Nobelprize.org

Name: Alfred Bernhard Nobel
Birth: 21 Oct. 1833, Stockholm, Sweden
Death: 10 Dec. 1896 San Remo, Italy
Patents: Alfred Nobel held 355 patent worldwide.
Hobbies Poetry, Literature, Health
Languages Spoken: Swedish, Russian, French, English, German, Italian
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