Dynamite was invented by the Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel in Geesthacht, Germany, and patented 25 November 1867. Its name was coined by Nobel from the Ancient Greek word dýnamis, meaning "power".
It was the first safely manageable explosive stronger than black powder. Nobel obtained patents for his invention: in England on 7 May 1867 and in Sweden on 19 October 1867. He originally sold dynamite as "Nobel's Blasting Powder". After its introduction, dynamite rapidly gained wide-scale use as a safe alternative to gunpowder and nitroglycerin. Nobel tightly controlled the patents, and unlicensed duplicating companies were quickly shut down. However, a few American businessmen got around the patent by using a slightly different formula.
Dynamite is a high explosive, which means its power comes from detonation rather than deflagration. Dynamite is mainly used in the mining, quarrying,construction, and demolition industries, and it has had some historical usage in warfare. However the unstable nature of nitroglycerin, especially if subjected to freezing, has rendered it obsolete for military uses. Public familiarity with dynamite led to metaphoric uses, such as saying that a particular issue is "political dynamite."
Dynamite is an explosive material based on nitroglycerin, using diatomaceous earth (AmE: kieselgur; BrE: kieselguhr), or another absorbent substance such as powdered shells, clay, sawdust, or wood pulp. Dynamites using organic materials such as sawdust are less stable and such use has been generally discontinued.
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