Ascanio Sobrero (1812-1888)

Ascanio Sobrero Italian chemist who discovered nitroglycerine. Ascanio Sobrero worked as an assistant to Professor J. T. Pelouze in Paris and then became professor of chemistry in Turino, Italy. His face was badly scarred as a result of an explosion in the 1840s. He considered nitroglycerine to be far too dangerous to be of any practical use. Sobrero is quoted to have said “When I think of all the victims killed during nitroglycerine explosions, and the terrible havoc that has been wreaked, which in all probability will continue to occur in the future, I am almost ashamed to admit to be its discoverer.” He was mortified when the Nobel family started the commercial exploitation of nitroglycerine and with the success of dynamite he felt he had been subject to an injustice. Alfred Nobel openly cited Sobrero as the inventor of nitroglycerine. (via Ascani Sobrero)


The font Times New Roman was created in 1931 by Stanley Morison together with Starling Burgess and Victor Lardent and has been an influential font during and before the digital typeface era. It has also inspired others including Georgia which has a wider serif.

Times New Roman has been re-designed from old-style characteristics and adapted to give better legibility for its main use in books and magazines, for reports, office documents and also for display and advertising.

The name Roman indicates authority and robustness and the shape of the serif and cross stroking coupled with the decorative stroke of the font relates back to Roman plinths and temples, it’s no wonder the U.S. State department has decided to stamp its authority with a size 14 Times New Roman font on all of its diplomatic documents.