Hazard Powder Company photographsCreation: circa 1890s-1900s
The Hazard Powder Company was one of the largest gunpowder and explosives manufacturers in the United States in the late-nineteenth century. This small collection consists of fourteen photographs of views of Hazard Powder Company buildings. None of the images are dated, however, they appear to date from circa 1890s to the 1900s.
- Creation: circa 1890s-1900s
- Hazard Powder Company (Organization)
8 photographic prints : b&w ; 6 x 8 in., mounted. 1 photographic print : b&w ; 4.5 x 6.5 in., mounted. 2 photographic prints : b&w ; 3.5 x 3.5 in., mounted. 2 photographic prints : b&w ; 4 x 5 in., mounted. 1 photographic print : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
The Hazard Powder Company was one of the largest gunpowder and explosives manufacturers in the United States in the late-nineteenth century. Initially established in in 1835 as Loomis, Denslow and Company by Allen Loomis (1795-1864) and his business partners, Parkes Loomis (1792-1869), Neeland Loomis (1799-1860), and Allen A. Denslow. The powder mill was located along the Scantic River, employees lived in the company town named Hazardville, Connecticut named after Colonel Augustus Hazard (1802-1868). In 1837, Hazard acquired one quarter interest in the company and the name was changed to Loomis, Hazard & Company. In 1843, the name was changed again to the Hazard Powder Company when Hazard became the principal owner.
In 1876, years after Hazard's death, the DuPont Company, a major rival in the industry, quietly took possession of the company and continued to produce sporting and blasting powder; the most notable product selling as "Kentucky Rifle Powder." The DuPont Company had been found to be in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and was court-ordered to breakup ownership of its explosives manufacturing businesses in 1911 to 1912, and Hazard Powder Company was merged with the newly created Hercules Powder Company to comply. In January 1913, there was a large explosion at the plant causing extensive damage and the plant was permanently closed.
Scope and Contents
This small collection consists of fourteen photographs of views of Hazard Powder Company buildings. None of the images are dated, however, they appear to date from circa 1890s to the 1900s. The photographs includes views of: Block Pond, dry house, and dust house in distance; barn mill with bridge; loading the teams at the packing house under the hill; steam glaze; barn and powder carts; unloading the teams at the cars at the company swtich station in Scitico, Connecticut; and the machine shop, carpenter shop with coal house, office, and wash house in distance. There are two images showing the aftermath of the June 18, 1897 explosion of the "Little Red crackers" or barn that was attached to the plant that stored a large quanity of gunpowder. Three men died in the explosion. The two images show a large pipe, a few stone blocks, a many smashed pieces of wood scattered on the ground.
There is a photograph of the dust house with Benjamin Warren Colburn (1863-1937) powderman standing in the doorway and J. McAviney seated in a horse-drawn cart. Pictured is either John F. McAviney (1856-1939) son of Edward McAviney (1824-1901) or John J. McAviney (1863-1940) son of Patrick McAviney (1825-1906). Brothers Edward McAviney and Patrick McAviney both worked in the powder yards.
There are four photographs taken by William A. Prentice (1883-1961), a resident of Hazardville, Connecticut until 1906, though he continued to have family reside there at least until 1919. Two photographs show a fire of the powder mill and the cooper shop being extingished by firefighters that are undated. Lastly, there are two images of the remaining structure of the old engine mills from an unknown date.
This collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Hazard Powder Company photographs
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