Julius Bernhard Friedrich Adolph Wilbrand, a German scientist first invented TNT in 1863. Initially TNT was used only as a yellow dye and its use as an explosive was not known back then.
TNT was not considered to be an effective explosive earlier, as it was less powerful than other explosives. TNT was more stable than other explosives and therefore is ideal for construction applications such as blasting rocks. TNT has a lower melting point than the combustion temperature therefore it can be melted and poured safely into containers during the manufacturing process and stored away for use later.
As TNT does not dissolve in water nor does it absorb water it can be safely used even in wet conditions. Because of its high velocity of detonation and energy, it is used in military armoury. Explosive TNT has a velocity of detonation of 6640 m/sec with 4.6 mega joules per kg of energy. Unlike the older bomb shells containing other explosives, TNT shells caused much heavier damages to enemy ships by expending most of their energy inside the target.
However TNT does have adverse health effects on human beings who are exposed to it for long durations. It is said to cause anemia and affect the immune system as well as the fertility system in humans.