|First Nobel Prize Ceremony|
first nobel prize ceremony.jpg
1862 - 1863 Swedish Chemist and Inventor Alfred Nobel began experimenting with nytroglycerine, created his first explosive and patented the "Nobel Lighter."
1867 - Alfred invented a newer and 'safer' explosive - dynamite.
Alfred Nobel recognized the destructive power of dynamite, yet believed it was a harbinger of peace. Alfred told Bertha von Suttner, an advocate for world peace,
My factories may make an end of war sooner than your congresses. The day when two army corps can annihilate each other in one second, all civilized nations, it is to be hoped, will recoil from war and discharge their troops.1896 - Of course, we all know it did not lead to world peace nor did Alfred ever see peace in his lifetime. He died on December 10, 1896 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 63.
Alfred Nobel never married but did leave a will declaring his wishes for disbursement of his fortune acquired during his lifetime. Incompleteness of the will along with many questionable areas plus other obstacles led to dispute and final settlement five years later: 94% of his multimillion dollar worth was bequeathed to the establishment of five prizes (physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace) to "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."
1901 - The Nobel Foundation was established and the first prizes awarded:
Chemistry: Jacobus H. van't Hoff
Physics: Wilhelm C. Röntgen
Physiology or Medicine: Emil A. von Behring
Literature: Rene F. A. Sully Prudhomme
Peace: Jean H. Dunant and Frédéric Passy
The reason for this decision is quite a story in itself...
Not wanting to go down in history with such a horrible epitaph, Nobel created a will that soon shocked his relatives and established the now famous Nobel Prizes. ~History of the Nobel Prizes.