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Today in History (1901): The First Nobel Prizes Are Awarded

The Nobel Prize is arguably the most prestigious in the world. It has given recognition to the people with the stellar contributions in the fields of physics, chemistry, literature, medicine and peace. More than a century and a decade ago ago, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded.

Alfred Nobel set up a fund that would carry his name and be the most regarded award in the world. Nobel was a Swedish inventor that created a fortune out of his patents for dynamite. Nobel’s brilliance in chemistry pushed him to discover a safer way to harness the volatile power of nitroglycerin. His invention of the blasting cap paved the way for the safer use of explosives.

Alfred Nobel Image via Wikipedia Commons

In his third and last will signed at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, and with hopes to acknowledge the man’s greatest feats in various fields, Alfred Nobel set up a fund that would aim to award “prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.” But it was only until 1901 that the Nobel Prizes were officially awarded after controversial issues with his family who opposed the establishment of the prize. Nobel left most of his wealth for the establishment of the prize.

The first Nobel Laureates were Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen for Physics, Jacobus Henricus van’t Hoff for Chemistry, Emil Adolf von Behring for Physiology or Medicine, Sully Prudhomme for Literature and Jean Henry Dunant and Frederic Passy for Peace. The prestigious prize that carries Alfred Nobel’s name has gone a long way in acknowledging the greatest contributions of mankind.

All information used in this article were sourced from Nobelprize.org, and History.

Like this article? Check out more stories from our Today in History and Throwback Thursday series.

written by cheeo

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