Документы жизни и деятельности семьи Нобель том 1 - Мелуа А.И
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Two more inventions directly related to explosives were patented by Nobel Dynamite Company, the company founded by Alfred Nobel during his lifetime, and its successor, Dynamite Joint Stock Company, former A. Nobel Co. This company manufactured weapons, cartridges and explosives. In 1902 the company received Privilege No. 7158 for “Shape of Elements of Powder Charge, Allowing to Slow Down or Accelerate Combustion,” , and in 1908 - almost 5 years after submitting the corresponding application in 1903 - Privilege No. 14323, for “Way of Manufacturing Plastic Explosives” . The new method used the nitroglycerine gel invented by A. Nobel. But even before these privileges were awarded, Nobel Dynamite Joint Stock Company has submitted two applications for a period of three years on March 28, 1891. Those were the applications for smokeless gunpowder and smokeless gunpowder with finely ground nitrocellulose with added di- and tri- nitrous derivatives of benzole, toluene, xylene or naphthalene7. We could not find any information on whether these privileges were ever awarded.
Robert Nobel, the second of I. Nobel’s children, was chronologically the first representative of the Nobel dynasty in Russia, and he also received one privilege. During the trip to the Caucasus in 1873 he realized the profitability of oil business, and after returning to St. Petersburg convinced his brother Ludwig to join him. They were interested in not only the oil but also in other oil-based products. Robert
5 Full Compilation of Laws of the Russian Empire, 1896. V. 16, No. 12965, p. 455.
6 Skug, A.I. (1979). Wilhelm Theodor Unge and His Contribution to Rocket Technology. In: From the History of Astronautics and Rocket Equipment: A Collection of Articles. Moscow, pp. 105-106.
7 Imperial Russian Technical Society Bulletin, 1891. V. 25, No. 10, p. 103.
started his oil business in Russia by acquiring an oil refinery in Baku in 1874. Upon his return Robert declared that he invented several innovations for the process of distilling and refining oil. He offered an original design of a free-falling boring tool with sliding cutters and, additionally, a way of removing boring silt by pumping water inside the well, which had never before been patented. In the same year he applied to receive the privilege for “Improving the Drilling Tools,” and received such privilege in 1875 under No. 69 . He began upgrading his oil refinery, and the refinery entered into operation in the fall of the same year. Brothers Ludwig and Alfred helped Robert with money and advice although they were still skeptical about the endeavor. Ludwig and his son Emanuel decided to go to the Caucasus to see what Robert was doing there. When he arrived, Ludwig immediately joined in his brother’s work, and Robert’s enterprise began growing fast in the sphere of technology and chemical engineering, showing good financial results. Ludwig began investing his ammunition plant profits into his brother’s business, and Alfred contributed the profits of his dynamite enterprise. Robert was an excellent chemical engineer. His mineral oil soon became better than that of his local competitors, and better than the kerosene produced at American plants of Rockefeller. His sales figures kept growing, and Robert founded a new enterprise named after himself. Robert Immanuelevich continued working in oil business until 1880 when he fell gravely ill and had to leave the Caucasus. However, he remained a shareholder of the company and continued to take interest in the Company’s affairs.
In Russia Ludwig Nobel registered 5 inventions. Some of them were in the field of oil industry and mechanical manufacturing. In 1863 Ludwig presented to the Weapon Commission of the Military Department a design of a rapid-fire automatic weapon under the name of multiplicator. In the explanatory note to the invention he wrote that the weapon “fired 104 bullets in 10 seconds in a given direction, and the bullets scattered in flight, striking targets of definite size. <...>. The action of this weapon can be compared to the action of canister shells”8. This project puzzled respectable members of the commission, who were old and therefore afraid of any innovations. As a result, the drawings of this invention of Ludwig Nobel’s, which was many decades ahead of its time, faced the sad fate of oblivion on the dusty shelves of military archives. It must be said that the overwhelming majority of Ludwig Nobel’s innovations in defense industry never received any privileges (patents): none of them were entered in the Register of Inventions in the Department of Trade and Manufacturing. The officials of the Committee used formal reasons not to accept any of his new solutions in the sphere of product management, which allowed for more effective use of human, financial and time resources, or his various innovative methods regarding operating metal cutting equipment.
His first invention, “A Method of Distilling Oil by Means of Interconnected Stills” received patent No. 9206 in 1882 . Before then oil distillation was done at kerosene factories in a device consisting of eight simple vertical stills, and the work had to be stopped time after time to drain the contents, therefore only one distillation was done a day. The dregs in the still could not be drained immediately since they heated up to more than 300 oC. The workers had to wait until the oil cooled down naturally. This demanded considerable time. The way of continuous distillation of oil developed by Ludwig in cube-shaped batteries was carried out in 1883 at the factory of the Nobel brothers in Baku. The method became a dominant