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Item 355 - Alfred Nobel Catalog 469 (Feb 2016)

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Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Sold Price: $24,504.90 (includes buyer's premium)


Rare ALS in French, signed “A. Nobel,” one page, 5.25 x 8.5, October 10, 1880. Letter to Alarik Liedbeck, Nobel’s friend and collaborator. In part (translated): “I have your letter…Could not the bottom be set up in the following way: [diagram sketch]. Point A would be 10 to 20 centimeters higher than B. It seems to me then that part B would be also well stirred, and that this way there would not be any unused acid, not attacked by the glycerin, as this will happen in this large pipe that starts from the bottom of the device. There you fill it up with 50 d—this could be done; but what a nuisance. If you replenish it with the recuperated acid as it is less dense than the mixture, it will mix with it, and you will only get a nuisance, with no benefit. The above layout seems preferable to me.” In fine condition.

Alarik Liedbeck was, both personally and professionally, one of the most important figures in Alfred Nobel’s life. A childhood friend, fellow chemist, and brilliant explosives engineer, he served as Nobel’s most trusted advisor from the inception of his first company, Nitroglycerin AB, in 1864. As business developed and expanded, Liedbeck oversaw the construction of new factories, revolutionizing the field with innovative manufacturing methods and new machinery of his own design—especially effective in reducing the risk in handling explosives. Letters from the world-changing chemist are phenomenally rare, and this example is especially remarkable given its prominent diagram. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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