150 Years of Dynamite


Explosives manufacturer Dyno Nobel traces its roots back to Alfred Nobel and his pivotal invention of dynamite. The name dynamite is derived from the Greek word dýnamis, meaning power. This year marks 150 years of progression due to the power of dynamite.

Before dynamite, the ability to break rock was limited to black powder explosives, which weren’t very strong and required a lot of material. This material was also dangerous to transport.

The invention of nitroglycerin in 1846 allowed for stronger and larger explosions, however it was extremely unstable and less safe than black powder. Safety was the original reason Alfred Nobel set forth to create dynamite. This laid the foundation for Dyno Nobel’s high safety standards: Zero Harm for Everyone, Everywhere.

In 1867, Alfred Nobel discovered how to stabilize nitroglycerin by adding diatomaceous earth. This created the first stable explosive more powerful than black powder.

The invention of dynamite marked a pivotal time and led to a step change in global industrialization. Dynamite made it easier to safely extract raw materials, allowing for more innovations to come to life. Today, Dyno Nobel continues this tradition by developing practical innovations in blasting.

Although improvements have been made to the original formula of dynamite and blasting practices, dynamite is still in use today and is, at times, the most sustainable solution in blasting. In North America, Dyno Nobel is the only manufacturer of dynamite, producing millions of pounds each year. Its plant in Carthage, Mo., has been producing dynamite, packaged emulsion and cast boosters since 1902.

Alfred Nobel once said, “If I have 300 ideas and just one turns out to work I am satisfied.” He went on to have 355 patent applications granted during his lifetime. Of all his inventions, dynamite is considered the most influential, not only because it redefined mining, but also because its success gave birth to the Nobel Prizes.

Alfred Nobel’s entrepreneurial vision laid the groundwork and became the inspiration for Dyno Nobel to deliver groundbreaking performance through practical innovation.

Information courtesy of Dyno Nobel, a subsidiary of Incitec Pivot Ltd. Please visit www.dynonobel.com for more information.