Arago: Exhibits


Alfred Nobel

Announcing The 2009 Nobel Prize Winners

Created By

Alexander T. Haimann

Collections Specialist

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Adam M. Rosenfeld

Web Team Intern

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

The winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics have been announced. In order to honor the recipients of this year's prizes, the National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit to highlight the winners' achievements and look back on past recipients.

Endeavors in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Economics and Peace are embodied in the work and achievements of the recipients of the Nobel Prize. Alfred Nobel and many of the recipients of the prizes named after him have been honored on postage stamps from virtually every stamp issuing country and postal entity.

Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1833. From age nine to seventeen, he lived with his family and received his primary education in St. Petersburg, Russia. By 1850, he was fluent in five languages, including French, English, Russian, Germany and Swedish. Among many different academic interests, Nobel focused on chemistry and physics.

In the late 1850s and early 1860s, several years after the discovery of nitroglycerine, Nobel began experimenting with it in order to make a more useful industrial explosive. He eventually determined the proper additive mixture to make nitroglycerine more stable. In addition, Nobel invented the blasting cap, which when properly constructed along with the nitroglycerine mixture produced Nobel’s most famous invention, dynamite.

34c Nobel Prize single

This 34-cent stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize was issued March 22, 2001.