Swedish industrial engineer and inventor Alfred Nobel is considered the inventor of dynamite.
His work as a construction engineer, building bridges and buildings in Sweden made him look for new ways of blasting rock.
In 1860 he started experimenting with the chemical nitroglycerine and by about 1863 the Nobel company had invented the blasting cap (a device used to blast), and dynamite.
Nitroglycerine had already been discovered about fifteen years before. It is a easily flammable liquid in its natural state.
Nobel mixed it with silica so it formed a rather gooey paste he ‘dynamite’. He received a patent (licence) for his product in 1867.
In the mining business, dynamite became very useful because it could be shaped like a cylinder to be inserted into the drilled holes to explode the rock.
The dynamite rod was attached to the detonator (blasting cap) which was lighted up by a lighting fuse.
The problem with dynamite is that since it has nitroglycerine in it, it is very unstable and can accidentally explode, even though other stuff is mixed to prevent it.
In fact, during the production of dynamite, Nobel’s own dynamite factory in Germany exploded by accident, leaving nothing behind.
A dynamite stick as four essential ingredients; the outer layer is a protective coating that surrounds the entire explosive material.
Inside this is sawdust or some other material that can absorb nitroglycerine (liquid form). The electrical fuse cable is connected to the dynamite through a blasting cap.
Starting from the 1880s the American military started experimenting with dynamite guns but was not used for long as there were better explosives available.
Despite Nobel’s invention, dynamite is no longer used commercially today. There are other safer substances which are cheaper to produce and easier to handle.
Today less than 2% of the American government’s explosives are made of dynamite.
However, despite this, dynamite remains quite popular in movies, especially in cartoons.