Nobel’s Russian connection has surfaced recently in a letter sent by him to the Russian Minister of War, reporting on progress during 1889 and 1890 on his new smokeless powder, Ballistite. The letter was found in Swedish archives with other documents, indicating that Russian army officials maintained ties with Nobel, and received a large number of Ballistite samples. Nobel’s involvement with Russian development was not described before by major written sources in English. The documents have also exposed Nobel’s difficulties in production and marketing across Europe, from mid 1889 to mid 1890. The new findings are useful in understanding the ‘longue durée’ aspect of Ballistite, described only briefly in the literature.
AmiableRené. 2006. “Scientific Reasoning and the Empirical Approach at the Time of the European Invention of Smokeless Powder.” In Gunpowder, Explosives and the State: A Technological History, edited by BuchananBrenda J., 343–54. Aldershot: Ashgate.
BergmanYoel. 2007. “The Moulin-Blanc Nitrocellulose Plant in France: Process and Improvements in the 1880s and early 1890s.” ICON: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology13: 19–34.
BergmanYoel. 2008. “Development and Production of Smokeless Military Propellants in France 1884–1918: Introduction,” 1–17. Ph.D. Thesis, Tel Aviv University, May. Available online at url: http://humanities.tau.ac.il/history-school/files/Bergman.EN.pdf.
BretPatrice. 2002. “La guerre des laboratoires: Poincaré, Le Chatelier et la Commission scientifique d’étude des poudres de guerre (1907–1908).” Paper presented at the Colloque Henri Le Chatelier, Nancy, 15 April 2002.
GordinMichael. 2001. “No Smoking Gun: D.I. Mendeleev and Pyrocollodion Gunpowder.” In Instrumentation, expérimentation et expertise des matériaux énergétiques (poudres, explosifs et pyrotechnie) du XVIe siècle à nos jours. Actes des Troisièmes Journées Paul Vieille, Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, 19–20 octobre 2000, 73–96. Paris: A3P & CNRS.
LindqvistSvante. 2001. “A Tribute to the Memory of Alfred Nobel: Inventor, Entrepreneur and Industrialist (1833–1896).” Trans. Bernard Vowles. Stockholm: Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (iva). Available at url: http://www.svantelindqvist.com/anobel_inventor.pdf.
Ministre de la guerre, France. 1892. “Note publiée par ordre du ministre de la guerre sur les nouvelles poudres de guerre BN, dites sans fumée, mises à la disposition de l’industrie privée.” Mémorial des Poudres et Salpêtres5: 7–9.
RiceRichard E.2006. “Smokeless Powder: Scientific and Institutional Contexts at the End of the Nineteenth Century.” In Gunpowder, Explosives and the State: A Technological History, ed. BuchananBrenda J., 355–366. Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
VernidubIvan Ivanovitch. 1996 “One hundred Years of the Russian Smokeless (Nitrocellulose) Powder Industry.” In Gunpowder: The History of an International Technology, ed. BuchananBrenda J., 395–400. Bath: Bath University Press.