Yesterday we visited the Nobel Museum at the Björkborn Manor and Estate in Karlskoga. Björkborn was Alfred Nobel’s last “residence” but he never really lived in it except as a sort of guest house. In fact he died at his villa in Italy. But Björkborn was critical in ensuring that the Nobel prizes even exist at all. A visit I would now strongly recommend to any visitor to Sweden. For me personally it was memorable on many levels, but primarily for teaching me so much new and in such a dramatic fashion. Till this visit, I knew very little about Alfred Nobel’s last will and testament and what a close run thing it was that it was ever implemented.
This quite remarkable, but little known, story of Ragnar Sohlman and the 3 white Russian stallions which ensured that Nobel’s will could be followed and that the Nobel Foundation and its 5 prizes could be established was something quite new for me. Ragnar Sohlman who, at the age of 26 spent five years against formidable opposition in at least 3 countries to establish the Nobel prizes in accordance with Nobel’s wishes, is the real unsung hero of the creation of the brand equity which is today the hallmark of the Nobel prizes.
But more of Ragnar Sohlman later.