Dynamite was invented by Alfred Nobel (of the eponymous Nobel Prizes) in 1867.
Early dynamite was made by mixing the explosive liquid nitroglycerin into an absorbent compound, such as diatomaceous earth. It was then wrapped in paper to make sticks, which were detonated by a blasting cap inserted into a
stick or bundle.
A less dangerous alternative was to use ammonium nitrate instead of the unstable nitroglycerin. So called ammonium dynamite was nearly as powerful.
Modern dynamite is mostly a mix of RDX, TNT, and oil and is called military dynamite. This mixture is designed to provide the explosive power without the safety risks of actual dynamite.