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Company history, product information, and training films, 1950-1999, bulk 1963-1989

Accession: 1995-300Identifier: 1995-300-II.


  • Creation: 1950-1999
  • Creation: bulk 1963-1989

Scope and Contents

This series includes many short films which were produced or sponsored by the Dupont Company and document the history of the company, product information, sales training (both in general and for specific products), management, and safety training. These films seem to have been loaned both within and outside of the company. There are several title lists of DuPont Motion Pictures which include lending policies. Some films were not produced by DuPont, but were used for training DuPont employees.

Training films focus on management, sales, safety, and recruitment. The management training films demonstrate how supervisors can motivate their employees for improved work performance, goal setting, and best practices for an employee work appraisal meeting. Of note is a film starring John Cleese titled, How Am I Doing: The Appraisal Interview, which takes a humorous look at how to do performance evaluations; Cleese plays three different bosses, all doing it the wrong way.

Sales training films either provide general sales advice or techniques for selling a specific DuPont product such as cellophane or antifreeze. There is a sales orientation film, Portrait of American Life which provides an overview of significant contributions of the chemical industry. Of note is another humorous film starring John Cleese called So You Want to Be a Success at Selling: Part II, The Presentation.

A majority of the safety films emphasize the safe handling and transportation of hazardous materials. There is a film related to preventing hearing loss when working with loud machinery and driver's safety. There are a number of safety films related to fire prevention. These films highlight flame retardant fabric such as Nomex and fire extinguishants such as Halon or FE 1301.

There is one general recruitment film and one specifically for DuPont’s Automotive Refinishes department.

There are many films which focus on providing in-depth information about a specific DuPont product or research. The products most heavily represented have to do with DuPont’s Agrochemical division. Many agrichemical films focus on a specific product such as Lexone, Benlate, Lannate, Lorox, Glean, Harmony, and Compound 12402. Some of these films provide tips on integrated pest management, spraying techniques, safe handling and disposal. Other films discuss the work of DuPont’s research scientists in the industry related to herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides.

There are a few films related to DuPont’s synthetic materials and products which highlight the wonders of plastics, Teflon, Cellophane, and Nylon. A few films focus on DuPont’s contributions to the medical industry.

Several films focus on the history of the DuPont Company like the film titled James Q. du Pont History of the DuPont Company. There are some films which document the activities of various plants like the Savannah River Plant, Chamber Works, and the Brevard plant. There is one film showing aerial views of the Experimental Station. There are a few films pertaining to the DuPont Company participation in the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. Additionally, there are a few lectures and presentations by DuPont employees, topics include technical research and technology, and promoting innovation and creativity.

The Du Pont Story is a feature film directed William J. Thiele (1890-1975) in 1950. It is a historical drama which tells the story of the DuPont Company through the administrations of its first ten presidents. The film depicts several generations of the du Pont family beginning with Eleuthere Irenee du Pont immigrating to the United States from France, and establishing a new company on the banks of the Brandywine River with the encouragement of Thomas Jefferson. The story ends with guest appearances of company presidents, Walter S. Carpenter Jr. (1888-1976) and Crawford H. Greenewalt (1902-1993). Carpenter was president from 1940-1948 and Greenewalt served from 1948-1962. There are several versions of this film.

Of note are a few films related to aviation. The DuPont Company sponsored the construction of a human-powered aircraft named Gossamer Albatross. The plane was made by Paul B. MacCready, Jr. (1925-2007) and his company AeroVironment. The Gossamer Albatross is made out of Mylar, Kevlar, and other synthetic materials. In 1979, cyclist and pilot Bryan Allen (1953-) piloted the Gossamer Albatross across the English Channel from Folkestone, England to Cape Gris-Nez, France. The flight took two hours and forty-nine minutes, covering twenty-two miles (35.7 km). In 1980 DuPont contributed to the Solar Challenger, which was an improvement on the design of the Gossamer Albatross. There are short films about both of these projects.

In September 1981 the oil and gas manufacturing company, Conoco Inc. became a subsidiary of the DuPont Company. Several years earlier, Conoco had produced a documentary film, To Fly directed by Jim Freeman and Greg MacGillivray in 1976 which was eventually released in 1981 presented by DuPont. The film documents the history of aviation. A second documentary by Freeman and MacGillivray was produced in 1983 by Conoco and presented by DuPont entitled Flyers. In 1999, DuPont sold off all of its shares of Conoco, which then merged with Phillips Petroleum Company.


From the Collection: 70 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Additional Description

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Related Names


Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA