Quiz time, folks--who invented dynamite? Do I hear the answer: Alfred Nobel! In fact in 1867, Nobel received U.S. patent number 78317 for his dynamic invention. That this explosive instead of being used peacefully for blasting the rocks during mining operations (as was originally nobly intended by Nobel) ending up as a destructive weapon used for destroying properties, limb and life was not this brilliant scientist’s fault at all. Yet all-too-surreal story behind the origin of Nobel prize would have us believe so!
BOOM...in 1888, Alfred had a dubious distinction of reading his own unflattering obituary! When Alfred's brother Ludvig died, a French newspaper mistakenly ran an obituary for Alfred, which called him the "merchant of death." It went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday." This horrified Alfred. Not wanting to go down in history with such a horrible epitaph, Nobel created a will that soon shocked his relatives and led to establishment of the now famous Nobel Norwegian Committee which awards Nobel Prize "to all during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."
Nobel's last will left approximately 94 percent of his worth to the establishment of five prizes in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. The fact that Nobel prize has been awarded for several outstanding achievements which have made this strife-torn, ailments-infested World "a better place to live in" and also the fact that it continues to inspire several to put their best foot forward in various worthy pursuits stands as a shining testimony to a man who aspired to "live nobly even after his death" by recognizing and rewarding the noble deeds of his fellowmen.
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Feb 1, 2001
A guy came to his pastor and said, “Reverend, I only have one talent.” The pastor asked, “What’s your talent? The man said, "I have the gift of criticism." The pastor was wise and replied, "The Bible says that the guy who had ...read more
Contributed by Rick Bartosik on May 23, 2001
The world famous Polish piano maestro, Ignace Paderewski, had been invited to appear at one of the great music centers of New York. It was a very formal evening with everyone wearing tuxedos and evening gowns. In the audience was a lady who brought her little boy along for the concert. She thought ...read more
Contributed by Christian Cheong on Aug 29, 2001
WHEN THE WIND BLOWS A young man applied for a job as a farmhand. When the farmer asked for his qualifications, he said, "I can sleep when the wind blows." This puzzled the farmer. But he liked the young man, and hired him. A few days later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by ...read more
Contributed by Evie Megginson on Oct 9, 2001
In a concert in Chicago, Harry Lauder, Scottish singer and songwriter, sang to an overflowing audience. At the conclusion, the audience stood en masse, and applauded uproariously. After the applause subsided, the audience said in unison, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Showing ...read more
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Dec 15, 2001
What is time? Who can easily and briefly explain this? Who can comprehend this, even in thought, so as to express it in a word? Yet what do we discuss more familiarly and knowingly in conversation than time? Surely, we understand it when we talk about it, and also understand it when we hear others ...read more