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Keogh was in the latest years of his struck him that he had not yet dined, eventful career afflicted with this un- on which he hurried down to his guests. pleasant failing of memory. On the He once attended a representation of occasion of a “ Bar dinner?' at his “Macbeth” in the Gaiety Theatre, house he went upstairs to dress, but Dublin. It will be remembered that did not reappear. The company sat the witches, in reply to the Thane's patiently for some time, till at length inquiry what they were doing, declared - just as their hunger was getting the they were doing “ A deed without a better of their manners, and an emis. name.” Catching the sound of the sary was being despatched to hunt up words, and no doubt imagining he was. the missing Judge-his lordship ap- on the bench in the Four Courts, peared, and explained with many Keogh exclaimed, to the astonishment apologies that, imagining he was retir- of the audience, “ A deed without a ing for the night, he had undressed name! Why, it's not worth sixpence!" and got into bed. After an hour's – Cornhill Magazine. sleep he awoke, when it suddenly
THE INVENTOR OF DYNAMITE.
BY HENRY DE MOSENTHAL.
ALFRED NOBEL, the inventor of dy- ment of ships, he returned to Sweden, namite, died on the 10th of December, and was employed in a shipyard at 1896, at San Remo, and by his will his Stockholm. Later on he accepted an large fortune is to be devoted to the appointment from Mehemet Ali, in encouragement of scientific research, whose service he remained four years and the promotion of peace among na- in Egypt. In 1828 he returned to tions. Having had the advantage of Stockholm, married a Swedish lady, personal acquaintance with him for a Karolina Henrietta Ahlsell, and became number of years, I have undertaken to assistant to the well-known naval conwrite this biographical sketch, for structor, Colonel Blom. In 1829 his which his eldest nephew, Mr. Emman- eldest son Robert was born ; in 1831, uel Nobel of St. Petersburg, as well as Ludwig Emmanuel ; and in 1833, Alseveral of his friends, have kindly sup- fred Bernard, the subject of this plied me with material. The strong sketch. The youngest son, Oscar Emil, individuality of the man, his restless was born in 1843. energy and fertility of invention, have Emmanuel Nobel was also an incontributed to place him in an almost ventor of considerable merit. He unique position among the inventors made several surgical appliances of of recent times, the history of the de- india-rubber, a material which was velopment of modern explosives being quite a novelty' at that time, and depractically the history of his life. vised india-rubber cushions for car
Alfred Nobel was born at Stockholm riages to lessen vibration. Many years on the 21st of October, 1833. His later, his son Alfred suggested the great-grandfather, Olof Nobilius, was manufacture of an artificial substitute a teacher of drawing at the University for india-rubber. Throughout we shall of Upsala. His grandfather, Imman- find that the father not only gave the uel, who dropped the latinized form of son example and encouragement as an the name and called himself Nobel, inventor, but also that training which was an army surgeon during the Fin- led him in the direction in which he nish war under Gustavus the Third, was destined to attain celebrity. In and afterward city physician at Gefle. 1837 an accident occurred which had a His father, Emmanuel Nobel, was born great influence on Alfred's future. in 1801 at this latter place. After When his father was experimenting spending some time at sea in order to with some new compound, an explosion study the construction and manage took place, shattering the windows in
the neighborhood and frightening the his sons thoroughly trained to carry inhabitants to such an extent that he out this idea, and as Ludwig had bewas compelled to leave Stockholm. come almost indispensable at the enHe decided to accept a proposal made gineering works, and Robert was still him by the Finnish statesman, Baron abroad, he decided in 1850 to send Hartman, and went to St. Petersburg, Alfred, who was then sixteen years of where shortly after his arrival he com- age, to the United States to study under menced to demonstrate the use of gun- the well-known Swedish engineer, John powder for land and submarine mines, Ericsson, Alfred Nobel was in Amerand the effect of a torpedo he had de- ica from his seventeenth to his twentyvised. His experiments, especially first year, and then returned to St. those carried out in 1842, were so suc. Petersburg. cessful that the Russian Government Let us pause for a moment to conoffered him 25,000 roubles in gold, on sider this young man of twenty-one, the condition that he should remain in who spoke Swedish, Russian, English, Russia and manufacture mines and German, and French, who was not only torpedoes for the Russian Government trained as an engineer, but had lived alone. He accepted this offer, erected in the atmosphere of invention and small engineering works on the Neva, mechanical contrivances--a young man and brought his wife and his son Al- who was able to read the books and fred from Stockholm to St. Petersburg. publications of nearly every civilized The eldest son, Robert, had gone to nation, and who took a vivid interest sea as a naval engineer, and Ludwig in all around him. His bent in those was in Russia already, having come days was toward mechanical engineerover some time previously to assist his ing, and it was only at a later date that father.
he took up chemistry and showed a Alfred Nobel thus came to Russia marked preference for that science. when he was nine years old. He had At the outbreak of the Crimean been attending the St. Jacob's Church War, Emmanuel Nobel was commisSchool in Stockholm, from the 2d of sioned by the Russian Government to September, 1841, until the 18th of defend Kronstadt with submarine October, 1842. In St. Petersburg he mines, and also to make torpedoes. was sent to school for some time, but His son, Robert, who was then in St. was very soon compelled to interrupt Petersburg, undertook to lay these his studies on account of his delicate mines, and a line of them was also health, a weakness of the spine oblig- placed at Wiborg. Contrary to dising him to lie on a couch the greater tinct instructions a Russian captain part of the day, and during this period tried to pass that line, with the result his mother seems to have been his chief that his vessel was blown up. This reteacher. Life at home was not always vealed the existence of mines to the one of ease ; his father's business was British fleet; a mine was fished up sometimes prosperous, sometimes de- and hauled on board the flagship pressed, and consequently Alfred at an Duke of Wellington, where it was exearly age was set to work as an appren- amined; it exploded on the deck tice in the engineering works of his and killed a seaman. It is to Emmanfather, in whose inventions he from uel Nobel's invention that the Rusthe first took a lively interest. The sians ascribe the fact that the British discovery of gun-cotton by Schoenbein fleet did not try to force its " in 1815 had attracted considerable the Russian fortress at " attention all over Europe, and had not the Neva. His torpedo escaped the notice of Emmanuel a success, the chemir Nobel; he tried gun-cotton for his for firing them be land and submarine mines, and also the war, busir for his torpedo.
cror His pet idea at the time seems, how- factory ow:
ulen for ever, to have been that steam could be ernment on
unth century superseded by heated air. He thought uel Nobel i
.g were scarcely that it would be well to have one of and his wo
took 150 years
creditors. Shortly after this, in 1859, ist, Mr. Carl Erik Hertzman, was he left for Sweden with his wife and killed, and, worse still, Alfred's youngtwo younger sons, Alfred and Oscar; est brother Oscar lost his life. This while Ludwig remained in charge of calamity so affected Emmanuel Nobel the factory at St. Petersburg, which he that a few months after the event he conducted with so much skill that he had a paralytic stroke, which left him succeeded in paying off all his father's permanently crippled, although his creditors and ultimately developed the mind remained unaffected ; he lived a business into one of great magnitude. few years in this state and died at
Both at St. Petersburg and Stock- Helenborg in 1872. Alfred pursued holm the father and his son Alfred his ideas with undaunted energy. The were constantly engaged in pursuing manufacture of the fearful explosive some invention. Their attention had being no longer tolerated near the been directed to the discovery of nitro- town, he carried on his work on board glycerine by Sobrero in 1847. They a hired barge, anchored in Lake Mämade some of this new explosive and laren ; but, meanwhile, the explosive experimented with it. In September, had attracted attention, a number of 1857, two years before he left St. mines began to use it, and the Govern. Petersburg, Alfred Nobel took out his ment decided to utilize nitro-glycerine first patent, which was for a gasometer, in the construction of a large railway and in 1859, shortly after his return to tunnel under the suburbs of StockStockholm, he patented an apparatus holm. Capitalists now began to take for measuring liquids, and also an im- an interest in what was then known as proved barometer. From 1859 to Nobel's blasting oil; the Swedish 1862, father and son continued work Nitro-glycerine Company was formed, ing on explosives, more particularly and works on a large scale were estabnitro-glycerine, of which they im- lished at Winterviken, near Stockholm, proved the method of production, in 1865. In the same year, the factory although at the same time they had to at Krümmel, on the Elbe, near Hamwork in other directions in order to pro- burg, now the largest explosive works vide for the wants of their very modest on the Continent, was called into ex: home. In 1861, Alfred undertook a istence. Shortly after the explosion, journey to different places on the Con- when he had no other factory but the tinent in order to obtain the necessary primitive arrangement on board the capital to start a factory. It was in ħired hulk, Alfred had gone over to Paris that he was most successful in Hamburg to try and introduce nitroawakening an interest in the new ex- glycerine into Germany. A Swedish plosive, and with the money he brought merchant, whom he had known in home small works were erected at Stockholm and who was then living in Helenborg, near Stockholm. Here, in Hamburg, introduced him to several 1862, nitro-glycerine was manufactured gentlemen, and a lawyer, Dr. Bandfor the first time on a commercial scale. Înann, received his suggestions so enthuIn the erection of this small factory at siastically that he became his partner Helenborg, a young engineer, Alarik and placed his available fortune at the Liedbeck, had been employed ; he was disposal of the young engineer. They Alfred's schoolfellow and best friend, purchased a disused tannery, and there and they remained in the closest in- built the above-mentioned works at timacy throughout life, Alarik Lied- Krümmel. beck assisting in planning and building Surely this was a remarkable young most of the factories which Nobel man. Physically weak, of a nervous, erected later on.
highly strung and exceptionally senConvinced of the importance of sitive disposition, he was endowed with nitro-glycerine as a more powerful a strong will, unbounded energy, and Nant than gunpowder, they must have wonderful perseverance; he feared no and alumselves on the eve of assured danger, and never yielded to adversity. His father, but this was not to be. Many would have succumbed under in 1801 at ungt disaster befell the similar circumstances, but the successpending some 'ory blew up ; a chem. sion of almost unsurmountable diffistudy the constr.
culties, the explosion of his factory, the fissures of the rock when poured causing a general scare and dread of into the bore-hole, and requires to be the deadly compound he was making, carefully confined that it may explode the loss of his youngest brother, to when ignited by means of a simple fuse. whom he was devotedly attached, the Nobel tried to overcome these difficulconsequent paralysis of his old father, ties, first by mixing it with gunpowand his mother's grief and anxiety, der, and then by adding fluids which could not deter him from pursuing his rendered it non-explosive, so that it aim. His temerity frequently verged could be safely transported, the added on foolhardiness, as when he was going liquid being removed after arrival ; he to his father's works one day at St. also suggested confining it in a tube Petersburg, and finding no boat to having the shape of the bore-hole, and take him across the river, he swam to firing it by means of a small gunpowthe opposite bank of the Neva. His der cartridge or primer. But all this brother upbraided him severely for did not avail, and accidents occurred needlessly exposing himself to danger, so frequently that the use of the blastand his acquaintances ridiculed him, ing oil was prohibited in Belgium, in and he took this so much to heart that Sweden, and later on in England. A he disappeared for some time, during vessel carrying some cases shipped from which he is said to have undertaken a IIamburg and destined for Chili was journey into the interior of Russia. blown up, and the event caused such a The co-existence of impulsive daring sensation that it seemed as if all Govand sensitive timidity was a striking ernments would prohibit the use of feature in his character. fe frequent- nitro-glycerine. In the meantime, ly demonstrated the value and safety however, Nobel had solved the problem of his explosives with his own hands, of its safe use, and at the end of 1866 although he was particularly susceptible he had invented a compound, which he to headaches caused by bringing nitro- called dynamite, made by mixing the glycerine into contact with the skin; nitro-glycerine oil with porous absorbthey affected him so violently that he ing material, thus converting it into a was often obliged to lie down on the paste. Dynamnite proved on experiground in the mine or quarry in which ment to be comparatively insensitive to he was experimenting. On one occa- shock or blow ; it burned when ignited, sion, when some dynamite could not be and could only be properly exploded by removed from a large cask, he crept means of a powerful detonator fixed to into it and dug the .explosive out with the end of the fuse and inserted into a knife. Numerous other incidents the plastic explosive. could be related of the fearlessness he The invention of dynamite marks an displayed when the success of his in- epoch in the history of civilization. vention depended entirely upon his In judging of the degree of culture of demonstrations of its safety, which in a people, we are guided to a great exthose days had not yet been thoroughly tent by the roads and waterways they proved.
constructed, and still more by the facil. The Swedish company gradually ity with which they obtained metals made headway in Sweden and Norway, and applied them to the arts. The where a factory had been built near Romans constructed excellent roads on Christiania in 1866, and the firm of A. the level, but in the mountains they Nobel & Co., of Hamburg, sold nitro- could only make narrow and very steep glycerine to mines in Germany and paths. Canals and cuttings were made other parts of the Continent; but the with great sacrifice and labor, and only explosive was not a complete success. where the soil was soft. Thus SuetoNitro-glycerine, which is made by nius states that in order to make a cuttreating glycerine with a mixture of ting about three miles long to drain nitric and sulphuric acids, and which the Lacus Fucinus, the Emperor closely resembles salad oil in appear. Claudius employed 30,000 men for ance, is poisonous, very sensitive to eleven years. In the sixteenth century shock or blow, and very dangerous to road making and mining were scarcely handle. Being a liquid, it runs into more advanced. It took 150 years (from 1535 to 1685) to mine five miles occurred at the German factory at of gallery in the Harz mountains. Krümmel; the manager, a Swede of Although blasting with gunpowder the name of Ratsman, and his assistdates back to the seventeenth century, ant, Mr. Schnell, a German, were it did not come into general use until killed, and the damage done was very the middle of the eighteenth century, considerable. Before the works could at which time the total cubage mined be reconstructed, the Franco-German in Great Britain amounted to little war broke out. During the war the more than that of a large railway cut- Germans used both gun-cotton and ting of the present day. The use of dynamite, and the astounding effect of gunpowder gave a great impetus to these modern explosives was thus mining and public works, but it was brought prominently before the public. only the introduction of railways, and As soon as hostilities had ceased, Nobel the necessity of laying the lines on easy went to Paris, and there met M. Paul gradients, which raised blasting to a Barbe, with whom he remained in inscience. The introduction of dyna- timate business relations for twenty mite, three times as powerful and years. Gambetta was so impressed much more reliable than gunpowder, with the necessity of dynamite being entirely revolutionized that science made in France that, although the and niade it possible to execute the manufacture of explosives is a State gigantic engineering works of our monopoly there, a concession was times, and brought about that prodig- granted for the erection of a dynamite ious development of the mining in- factory, and at the end of 1871 a comdustry of the world which we have pany was formed, and the factory of witnessed during the last twenty-five Paulilles, near Port Vendres, was built. years.
It was in 1871 that Nobel came to this As soon as dynamite .was invented, country, and on the 12th of April in its manufacture was taken up by the that year he signed an agreement for Swedish company and the Hamburg the transfer of his patent rights for firm, and during 1867 it was selling in Great Britain and the British colonies small quantities. At the end of that to the British Dynamite Company, year, Nobel went over to America to Limited, of Glasgow, which was afterintroduce his explosive there. He took ward reconstructed under the name two cases of dynamite with him. On of Nobel's Explosives Company, Limhis arrival in New York, where he had ited. He selected a site on the west several acquaintances among people he coast of Scotland, near Ardrossan, and had met at the time when he was work- there laid the foundation of the Ardeer ing with Ericsson, he put up at a small factory, which is now the largest in the hotel, but a few days later, the pro- world. He started a factory at Galdaprietor, having found out the nature cano, near Bilbao, in Spain, in 1872, of the stranger's luggage, politely asked and factories in Italy and Switzerland him to leave his establishment and in 1873. seek lodgings elsewhere. He was not Thus at the age of forty Nobel had successful with his invention in New achieved success. He had introduced York, and therefore went to San Fran- his explosive all over Europe, had es. cisco, where with the assistance of Mr. tablished works in America, and dynaBandmann, his partner's brother, who mite was being exported to all parts of resided there, he succeeded in forming the globe. From the German, Ausa company, and works were erected in trian, Scandinavian, and American that neighborhood in 1868 for the factories he was deriving a good inmanufacture of dynamite, or, as the come. He decided to reside permaAmericans called it, giant powder. On nently in Paris, and purchased a honse his return to Europe, he completed in the Avenue Malakoff. Having recarrangements with a firm in Vienna ognized the value of chemistry to the for the establishment of works in Aus- further progress of his work, he devoted tria, and the factory of Zamky, near himself to a thorough study of that Prague, was built at the end of 1868. science, arranged a small laboratory in In the beginning of 1870, an explosion his house, and engaged a young chem