Inventors have changed and advanced the course of human history, but one inventor has arguably done more than any other to promote and encourage the people who explore those ideas. Today we recognize Alfred Nobel, born on this day in 1833. Through his generous donation of today’s equivalent of 265 million dollars, his namesake, the Nobel Prize, continues to honor and support those whose discoveries and inventions “have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.”
Alfred Nobel was himself a prolific inventor and innovator, named on more than 350 patents. In the 1800s, he invented dynamite and other explosive technologies. He built his fortune from his intellectual property, yet despite his success, he was condemned by many for fueling technology that could be used for harm.
So, he carried with him a strong desire to leave another legacy. In his will, he reserved his intellectual property fortune for the creation of what would become known as the Nobel Prize.
During the last few weeks, we've celebrated several inventors in history who have received the Nobel Prize. You can learn about these inventors on our Facebook page.
Illustration: The Nobel Foundation