Immanuel Nobel emigrates from Sweden to reach St Petersburg, Russia, with his family 1842.
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Immanuel Nobel returns to Sweden and the creditors of his insolvent workshop in St Petersburg plead to his son Ludvig to continue the operations.
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The Ludvig Nobel Engineering Works Company is formed in St Petersburg.


Ludvig Nobel in a letter to his brother, Robert: ”Petroleum has a bright future!”

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Robert Nobel starts the Lamp and lamp oil warehouse, Aurora, in Finland.

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Ludvig Nobel is awarded the privilege to use the imperial Russian herald, the double eagle.

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Ludvig Nobel and Peter Bilderling build a factory for weapons production in Izhevsk in the Urals.


Robert Nobel looks for walnut wood for Ludvig’s rifles in the forests of the Caucasus.

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The monopoly-contract system for renting oil deposits is abolished in favour of public auction of contracts in the Caucasus.


Robert Nobel buys a refinery and a plot of land in Baku.



Ludvig Nobel sends his works manager, Alexander Bary, to the USA to study American oil management.

Ludvig Nobel and his son, Emanuel, visit Robert in Baku.


The first pipes for the pipeline in Baku are ordered from Glasgow.

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Ludvig Nobel lectures on oil extraction in Baku at the Imperial Russian Technical Society.

The plan for the distribution of paraffin from Baku to the Russian market is completed.

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The world’s first tanker, Zoroaster, built in Sweden, is commissioned.

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The limited company, Branobel, is formed by Ludvig, Robert and Alfred Nobel, Peter Bilderling and others. The share capital is 3 million roubles.

The Nobels’ employee, Engineer Alfred Törnqvist, is sent to the USA to study the American oil industry.


Robert Nobel leaves Baku and Alfred Törnqvist becomes manager of Branobel.


Ludvig’s son, Emanuel Nobel, becomes responsible for Branobel’s economic matters.

Tsar Alexander II is murdered in a bomb attack. Ludvig Nobel’s import of Alfred’s dynamite is stopped.

The Branobel tanker, Nordenskiöld, is ravaged by fire during loading in Baku.

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Continuous operation is introduced in the distillery with a technology patented by Ludvig Nobel.

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American oil products are driven out of competition in the Russian market.

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Villa Petrolea is inaugurated. Ludvig and Carl Nobel visit Baku.

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A tanker, Branobel’s Sviet, arrives in London with paraffin in bulk for the first time.


Financial crisis at Branobel.

A railway tunnel is blasted through the Surami Pass in Georgia using Alfred Nobel’s dynamite.

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Tsar Alexander III visits Baku. Emanuel Nobel receives the Imperial Medal and is invited to become a Russian citizen.

Ludvig Nobel dies in France. His son, Emanuel, is given responsibility for Branobel and his other son, Carl, responsibility for the Engineering Works.

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Cholera epidemic in Baku. Branobel takes the initiative in setting up a cholera hospital.

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The oil companies in Baku get involved in municipal affairs.

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Baku’s seven biggest oil companies make an unsuccessful attempt to form a syndicate.

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Branobel makes a record profit. Its capital is now 20 million roubles.

Carl Nobel dies in Zürich and his brother, Emanuel, becomes the sole head of all the Nobel companies.

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The railway between Baku and Batumi is destroyed by flooding.

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Robert Nobel dies on 7 August and Alfred Nobel on 10 December.

Tsar Nicholas’s coronation party is surrounded by drama.

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Emanuel Nobel buys Alfred’s shares in Branobel, corresponding to 12% of the Nobel Foundation’s basic capital.

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The Evangelical-Protestant church is established in Baku, partly financed by Nobel.



Harvest time for Branobel. The company produces 10% of the world’s oil and orders tankers to a value of SEK 12 billion.

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New railway and oil pipeline constructed from Baku to Batumi.

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Branobel’s attempts to merge with Standard Oil fail.

Social unrest in Baku. 36 of Branobel’s drilling towers are destroyed.

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What was life like for a young Swedish woman in Baku at the turn of the last century?

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The first Russian collective agreement is entered into. The Transcaucasian Bolshevik Party is formed in Tbilisi in Georgia.

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Strikes result in ”Bloody Sunday” on 22 January in St Petersburg. The first organised strike, also in Baku. Extensive destruction of the oil fields.

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Strikes force the Nobels’ office and works in St Petersburg to close.


Calmer politically than the foregoing year, but it will take Branobel 9 years to pick up its former production volume again.

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The Russian oil company, Steaua Romana, forms a union with Branobel, the Rothschilds and Deutsche Bank.

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1907 was a bloodstained and tragic year for the Swedish colony in Baku.

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Branobel celebrates it’s 30th anniversary – but the Baku oil is running out.

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Standard Oil is split up into 34 companies after the USA’s Supreme Court has decided that the company constitutes an illegal cartel.

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Ludvig Nobel’s Engineering Works in St Petersburg celebrate their fiftieth anniversary.

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The First World War breaks out on 28 July.


The Russian Revolution breaks out and the Tsar abdicates on 15 March. By a Coup d’état Lenin seizes power on 7 November.

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The Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan declares itself independent on 28 May.

The brothers, Gösta and Emil Nobel, are arrested in St Petersburg but succeed in escaping and are united with the entire Nobel family in Stockholm for Christmas.

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Emanuel Nobel and his sister in law, Genia, flee Baku via Berlin to Stockholm.

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Branobel’s business in Russia is now run from Paris, and later from Stockholm.

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Standard Oil buys half of the shares in Branobel on 30 July.

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Azerbaijan is occupied by the Red Army and becomes a Soviet Republic on 28 April.


International oil companies get together to boycott all business with the Bolsheviks, but they fail.




Branobel is liquidated 90 years after being founded and 50 years after being nationalised.

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The 100 years anniversary of the Protestant-Evangelical Church, die Kirsche, in central Baku, partially financed by the Nobel family.


Baku Nobel Heritage Fund is set up to restore Villa Petrolea in Baku.

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Preliminary Cooperation Agreements for the Branobel History Project.

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The Nobel Family Society becomes a supporting partner in the Branobel History Project.

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