Explosives for peace
Blasting for building
Far safer than Nitro-Glycerine, Nobel's dynamite was used extensively for blasting as the industrial revolution called for more raw materials and easier paths around and through nature's toughest obstacles.
Nobel's Extra Dynamite, also know as blasting gelatine or gelignite was introduced in 1875. Gelignite made it more efficient to mine the coal that fuelled the huge boom in Victorian industry and engineering. The Pitsea factory sent explosives as far a field as Australia where people were mining everything from coal to gold.
The Permitted List
in 1885, countries across Europe agreed on a "Permitted List" of explosives for mining. These had chemicals added that would lower the temperature of their explosion and prevent ignition of methane gas. Made at Pitsea, Britonite and Pitsea Powder No. 2 were once on the Permitted List for use in coal mines. The 1920 Dictionary of Explosives lists them alongside a range of British brands, some named after places like Sheppey and Barking, and some with bizarre names like Good Luck!
Today, Dyno Nobel's innovative slurry and emulsion explosives are still extensively used in quarrying and mining.
Taming the Wild West
Explosives based on the incredible explosive power of nitroglycerine were used extensively in blasting and mining throughout the world.
Experiments to develop safer alternatives were incredibly dangerous, and commercial use resulted in many deaths. Blasting Oil, developed by Nobel was first exported from Europe to the USA in the 1864s, where it helped cut a passage through the previously impenetrable mountains of Nevada for the railway, finally opening up a route through to California.