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On 3 September 1864, a shed, used for the preparation of nitroglycerin, exploded at the factory in Heleneborg Stockholm, killing five people, including Nobel's younger brother Emil.
Dogged by more minor accidents but unfazed, Nobel went on to build further factories, focusing on improving the stability of the explosives he was developing.
Nobel invented dynamite in 1867, a substance easier and safer to handle than the more unstable nitroglycerin.
Dynamite was patented in the US and the UK and was used extensively in mining and the building of transport networks internationally.
In 1875 Nobel invented gelignite, more stable and powerful than dynamite, and in 1887 patented ballistite, a forerunner of cordite.

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