Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates
Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Robert and Ludvig Nobel and the Oil Industry in Russia

Immanuel and Andrietta Nobel had six children. Four of them survived childhood: Robert (1829-1896), Ludvig (1831-1888), Alfred (1833-1896), and Emil (1843-1864). Two died as infants. Emil, who like his brothers Robert and Ludvig worked for the family business, was killed in a tragic explosion which occurred in Heleneborg, Stockholm on September 3, 1864.

 Robert Nobel  Ludvig Nobel
Robert Nobel Ludvig Nobel

After the bankruptcy of their father in 1859 Robert and Ludvig remained in St. Petersburg while Immanuel Nobel, his wife Andrietta and their two sons Alfred and Emil returned to Stockholm. During a trip to Baku located on the Caspian Sea, Robert Nobel realized the commercial possibilities of the oil wells in this area. He persuaded his brother Ludvig to join in exploiting the oil wells, and in 1876 they started an oil company called Branobel. Robert lived in Baku for some time but had to return to Sweden for health reasons. Ludvig continued to develop the oil industry and made a number of technical and commercial innovations. Among these were pipelines for the transport of oil and oil tankers built in sections in Sweden and assembled on the Caspian Sea. Ludvig Nobel became a very well-known figure in pre-revolutionary Russia, not only for his technical inventions and business enterprise, but because he had good relations with his employees. He introduced profit sharing and worked actively to improve working conditions in his factories.


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