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November 25

Nobel Detonators

The Road Runner and other Looney Tunes characters often use dynamite in cartoons. It’s usually called TNT in these shorts, but the two substances are actually not the same.

1867: The Big Bang Theory
Alfred Nobel patents dynamite
What's a good disaster movie without an explosion or three? Alfred Nobel’s famous invention, which he called “Nobel’s Blasting Powder,” made these blockbusters' explosion-filled sequences possible. Nobel discovered that when silica is combined with nitroglycerin, the resulting substance can be formed into cylinders and other shapes for use in mining operations.

Originally envisioned for these pragmatic purposes, dynamite found a whole new function when it came to creating spectacular special effects in the movies. From exploding cars to towering infernos, dynamite makes all kinds of explosive things happen. These days, on-set special effects experts make sure that dynamite is used safely.
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