Tekniska Museet
100 Innovations - Tekniska museet

AN EXHIBITION AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, STOCKHOLM, 2012 – 2015

Dynamite

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The dynamite

An ignition device is being used for a peaceful purpose. TM34198. Photo: Ellinor Algin.

The dynamite

”Louise Adelaide” is on fire in Gäddviken in Nacka, Stockholm area. The ship exploded and burned down on the 23rd of July 1901. Photo: M. Befwe.

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The dynamite

Dynamite is an explosive compound and the ingredient that explodes is called nitroglycerine. When it is ignited the nitroglycerine is set in motion, and the result is a powerful chain reaction in the dynamite.

Nitroglycerine is a very unstable substance. Alfred Nobel succeeded in finding a way of ensuring that nitroglycerine did not fire off before intended. The trick was the blasting cap — a charge which sets fire to other explosive substances — as well as mixing a dough of nitro-glycerine and soil which contained petrified algae.

Nobel took out the patent on dynamite in 1867 and became both rich and famous. His fortune laid the foundations for the Nobel Prize. Today there are alternatives to nitroglycerine, more stable substances with the same explosive power.

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