A Most Damnable Invention

A Most Damnable Invention

Dynamite, Nitrates, and the Making of the Modern World

Book - 2006
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Humanity's desire to harness the destructive capacity of fire extends back to the dawn of civilization. But the true age of explosives began in the 1860's with the remarkable intuition of Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel. His discovery of dynamite made possible the industrial mega-projects that defined the era, including the St Gothard rail tunnel and the Panama Canal. Dynamite also caused great loss of life and incalculable environmental damage. With a troubled conscience, Nobel left his cast estate to the establishment of the world-famous prizes that bear his name. As the use of explosives and fertilisers soared, nations scrambled for the scarce yet vital ingredient: nitrates. The 'nitrogen problem' was solved by enigmatic German scientist Fritz Haber. But his breakthrough prolonged the First World War, and when he was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work it sparked international condemnation. A Most Damnable Invention deftly blends popular science, history and biography in a vivid account of the incendiary substance that truly made our world.
Publisher: Camberwell, Vic. : 2006
ISBN: 9780670028788
Branch Call Number: ANF 174.95 BOWN
Characteristics: 272 p. : ill. ; 21 cm


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