Alfred Nobel (1833 – 1896) Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman and philanthropist who invented dynamite. ICI Ardeer employed many throughout North Ayrshire.
Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden on 21st October 1833. He founded the British Dynamite Company in 1870, starting production in Ardeer in 1873. By 1926, the company had coalesced into Imperial Chemical Industries, while Nobel Industries continued as the ICI Nobel division of the company, shipping industrial explosives to destinations around the world.
Nobel was a Chemist, Engineer & Arms Manufacturer and holder of 350 patents for discoveries that included dynamite, gelignite and the blast cap. Following the death of his brother, a French newspaper erroneously printed an obituary of Alfred which condemned him for the invention of dynamite, supposedly provoking him to set aside the bulk of his estate to fund the Nobel prizes after his death; these include three prizes for science, one for literature, and a 5th (the ‘Peace Prize’) for the person or group that best promotes international fraternity.