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Nitro-glycerine was first invented by Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero in 1846. In its natural liquid state, nitro-glycerine is very volatile. Albert Nobel, a Swedish, understood this and in 1866 he discovered that mixing nitro-glycerine with silica would turn the liquid into a malleable paste, called dynamite. One advantage of dynamite over nitro-glycerine was that it could be cylinder-shaped for insertion into the drilling holes used for mining.