Tag Archives: Alfred Nobel

today’s birthday: Bertha von Suttner (1843)


Bertha von Suttner (1843)

Baroness Bertha von Suttner was an Austrian novelist who was known chiefly as an ardent pacifist. Her 1889 pacifist novel Die Waffen nieder—translated into English in 1892 as Lay Down Your Arms—had great social impact. Through her subsequent friendship with Swedish Chemist Alfred Nobel, she influenced him to establish the Nobel Prizes. In 1905, she became the first woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She met Nobel after answering an advertisement for what? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: First Nobel Prizes Awarded (1901)


First Nobel Prizes Awarded (1901)

The Nobel Prizes, named after Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, are awarded annually to those who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace, and—since 1969—economic sciences. Nobel is said to have been inspired to create the prizes after reading his own prematurely published obituary, which condemned his invention of dynamite and referred to him as “the merchant of death.” What family has amassed the most Nobel Prizes? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Wilhelm Röntgen Discovers X-Rays (1895)


Wilhelm Röntgen Discovers X-Rays (1895)

In 1895, Röntgen, a German physicist, discovered rays that did not exhibit properties such as reflection or refraction. Because of their mysterious nature, he called them X-rays. His discovery, which gave medicine a critical view inside the body and allowed bones to be photographed, remains a valuable diagnostic tool. Röntgen’s breakthrough earned him the first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901. One of the first X-ray photographs he took was of his wife’s hand. What did she say when she saw it? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Alfred Nobel (1833)


Alfred Nobel (1833)

Nobel was a Swedish chemist and engineer who invented dynamite, the smokeless powder Ballistite, and an explosive gelatin more powerful than dynamite. In his last will, he left his enormous fortune in trust for the endowment of the Nobel Prizes, which recognize outstanding achievements in the fields of science, literature, and economics and in the promotion of peace. What was the content of the prematurely published obituary that is said to have made Nobel resolve to leave a better legacy? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: S.A. Andrée Attempts to Reach the North Pole by Balloon (1897)


S.A. Andrée Attempts to Reach the North Pole by Balloon (1897)

After gaining funding from the likes of King Oscar II and Alfred Nobel and generating widespread public interest, Swedish explorer Salomon August Andrée and two companions departed from Norway’s Svalbard for the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon. They flew for two days before a hydrogen leak grounded the balloon, forcing the poorly equipped trio to travel on pack ice. Three months later, the men reached the island of Kvitøya, where they eventually died. When was their last camp finally found? More… Discuss