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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 51, December 17, 2006, Article 29

DYNAMITE AND THE PREMATURE DEATH OF ALFRED NOBEL

Harry Waterson writes: "I enjoyed your piece on the Nobel Prizes and
noticed that nowhere did you mention that Alfred Nobel invented
dynamite, which is just further evidence that his plan worked. Alfred
Nobel, like Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling, was the surprised recipient
of a premature obituary. In Nobel's case this early obit castigated him
as a merchant of death. That was not the memory he wished to leave
behind.  In order to burnish his image and his death notices he gave
the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes and thus give his
name a numismythical air and a medallic ring.

By the by, Kipling's first death notice was published in a magazine to
which he then wrote that since he was dead, would they please remove
his name from the list of subscribers?  - another case of the editorial
department not helping the circulation department."

[Actually, I thought everyone knew about the source of Nobel's fortune,
but I've been hanging around The E-Sylum too long.  We bibliophiles love
these little tidbits, and speaking of which, there were several
interesting anecdotes about the medals of the web page referenced last
week.  I'll publish some excerpts in the next item. -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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