Ascanio Sobrero (1812-1888) a short biography

Ascanio sobrero

Italian chemist who discovered nitroglycerine. Sobrero worked as an assistant to professor Pelouse in Paris and then became professor of chemistry in Torino, Italy. His face was badly scarred as a result of an explosion in the 1840s. He considered nitroglycerine to be far too dangerous to be of any practical use. Sobrero is quoted to have said "When I think of all the victims killed during nitroglycerine explosions, and the terrible havoc that has been wreaked, which in all probability will continue to occur in the future, I am almost ashamed to admit to be its discoverer". He was mortified when the Nobel family started the commercial exploitation of nitroglycerin and with the success of dynamite he felt he had been subject to an injustice. Alfred Nobel openly cited Sobrero as the inventor of nitroglycerine.

Copyright ©1995 The Nobel Foundation

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