1070-4272/01/7407-1240$25.00C2001 MAIK [Nauka/Interperiodica]
Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, Vol. 74, No. 7, 2001, pp. 1240 !1245. Translated from Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, Vol. 74, No. 7,
2001, pp. 1205!1210.
Original Russian Text Copyright + 2001 by Morachevskii.
HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY
AND CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY
To Centennial Anniversary of Awarding the First Nobel Prize
in Chemistry (1901!2001)
International prizes have been awarded annually,
beginning in 1901, in accordance with Alfred Nobel’s
will, for outstanding discoveries in physics, chemistry,
physiology, and medicine, and also for creation of the
most prominent literary work and valuable contribu-
tion to fraternity among nations and promotion of
peace. During the last century, Nobel Prizes in chem-
istry were not awarded, for various reasons, only in
1916, 1917, 1919, 1924, 1933, and 194031942 [1, 2].
Vast literature is devoted to A. Nobel’s life and
activities and his will . Nevertheless, there are
essentially different opinions on some important
issues associated with A. Nobel’s scientific and en-
gineering activities. Detailed biographic evidence can
be found in E. Bergengren’s book  and also in
memoirs of A. Sohlmann (187031948) , A. No-
bel’s close friend and assistant and one of the two
executors of his last wishes, named in his will. The
memoirs were written in the late 1940s, shortly before
the author’s death.
Alfred Bernhard Nobel was born on October 21,
1833, into the family of Immanuel Nobel (18013
1872), an architect and inventor engaged in various
business activities. In view of severe economic
grievances, I. Nobel, having left his family in Sweden,
moved to Turku (Finland) in 1837, and thence went to
St. Petersburg, where he later managed to found a
large, by that time, plant Liteinye zavody i mekhani-
cheskie masterskie. Emmanuel’ Nobel’ i ego sy-
nov’ya (Casting Yard and Machine Shop. Immanuel
Nobel & Sons). In the autumn of 1842, when Alfred
was 9, the whole family moved to his father to Russia.
During the Crimean War (185331856), Nobel’s plants
had particular numerous delivery orders, manufactured
underwater mines and other kinds of armament for
the Russian Navy.
In 184131842, A. Nobel attended school in Stock-
holm; later he was educated at home and, in addition
to Swedish, spoke fluent Russian, German, French,
and English, well knew the world history, was deeply
interested in literature, and possessed profound know-
ledge in chemistry. According to some of his bio-
graphers, A. Nobel was instructed in chemistry by
Professor N.N. Zinin (180231880), later an academi-
cian of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and
one of founders of the Russian Chemical Society and
its first President (186831877). The founder of the
Kazan school of organic chemists, Zinin moved to
St. Petersburg in the end of 1847, and was elected
there an ordinary professor at the Chair of Chemistry
and Physics of the St. Petersburg Medical-Surgical
Academy (Military Medical Academy since 1881) .
However, there is also some evidence [10, 11] that
A. Nobel became acquainted with Zinin and his works
on explosives only in 1855.
In 1850, A. Nobel went to the United States to
complete his education and then visited France and
other European countries. Little is known about his
stay in New York, it has only been mentioned that
A. Nobel met there J. Ericsson (180331889), a Swed-
ish engineer working in the field of steam engines.
In 185131852, A. Nobel worked in Paris at the labora-
tory of Professor T.J. Pelouze (180731867), a promi-