Photograph of Nobel


The Nobel prizes are awarded every year on 10 December, commemorating the day their founder, Alfred Nobel, died. But do you know exactly why these prestigious awards were created? Read on to find out.

Chemist and businessman Alfred Nobel was one of the most prolific inventors of his time. He held 355 patents, including processes for making synthetic rubber, leather and artificial silk, but he's best known for inventing dynamite. It is believed that Nobel actually found dynamite to be so destructive that he eventually regretted ever having invented it. This is why, when he died in 1896, he left much of his fortune (around $265 million today) to fund what became known as the Nobel prizes. In his will, he expressly mentioned that these prizes were to be awarded "to those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind".

Using one of our search tools, can you find the patent number of Alfred Nobel's dynamite (or Nobel's gunpowder as he liked to call it)?

Nobel diagram

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