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Irénée du Pont photographs

circa 1860-1960
 Collection
Identifier: 1986-252

Abstract

Irénée du Pont (1876-1963) was a chemical engineer. He began work for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. in 1903 in the Construction Division of the Black Powder Operating Department. After holding several positions within the company he went on to be the president of the DuPont Company. He served in this capacity from 1919 until 1926. The collection consists of photographs related to Irénée du Pont's family, personal interests, and involvement with organizations such as the Delaware Safety Council.

Dates

  • circa 1860-1960

Creator

Extent

2 Linear Feet

General Physical Description

318 photographic prints ; 8.5 x 10.5 in. or smaller. 14 photographic prints : cabinet photographs ; 6.5 c 4.25 in. 31 photographic prints : cartes de visite ; 4 x 2.5 in. 6 photographic prints : tintypes ; 6 x 4.25 in. or smaller. 6 photographic prints : cyanotypes ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller. 3 photographic prints : stereographs ; 4 x 7 in. or smaller. 3 prints : postcards ; 9 x 14 cm. 173 items. 1 album (8 photographic prints) ; 21.5 c 29 cm. 1 album (42 cartes de visite, 3 tintypes) ; 13 x 10 cm.

Biographical Note

Irénée du Pont (1876-1963) was born at Nemours, near Eleutherian Mills, New Castle County, Delaware, He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began work for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. in 1903 in the Construction Division of the Black Powder Operating Department. After gaining experience, he was named Assistant Treasurer in 1905 and manager of the Development Department three years later. In 1915 he joined with his brothers Pierre and Lammot to organize a syndicate which gained control of the Company by purchasing the shares of stock owned by T. Coleman du Pont. When Pierre S. du Pont became president, Irénée became treasurer and four years later, when Pierre resigned his office to become president of General Motors, Irénée took over as president of the Du Pont Company. He served in this capacity from 1919 until 1926.

In the 1920s Irénée du Pont was active in the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, and in the 1930s he was a founding member and important supporter of the American Liberty League. He continued serving on the Board of Directors of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. until 1959.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of photographs related to Irénée du Pont's family, personal interests, and involvement with organizations such as the Delaware Safety Council. Family photographs include portraits and snapshots of Irénée, his wife, Irene du Pont, and their children, as well as snapshots with friends. A large number of the family photographs are portraits of Irene du Pont's parents, Francis Gurney du Pont and Elise Wigfall Simons du Pont; her siblings; and ancestors including various members of the du Pont, Flagg, Moore, Simons, and Wigfall families, and the painter Washington Allston. Many of these are photographs of painted portraits.

The collection also includes views of Granogue, Irénée's home in Delaware, and of Xanadu, his home in Cuba. The views of Granogue include an album with eight photographs of mostly interiors of the home, showing the architectural woodwork in foyers, halls, music room, dining room, and bedroom; and snapshots of the farm. The photographs of Xanadu document the construction and upkeep of the house.

Other photographs in the collection include snapshots and portraits of people, mostly children (many with French names), who were presumably given donations during the 1920s. There are also photographs from a Delaware Safety Council meeting/dinner in Wilmington in 1952 and photographs of a painting by Frank Schoonover for the American Liberty League. Miscellaneous photographs include views of the construction of the Congressional Country Club (1923); dogs; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (1922); various telescopes; the Swasey Observatory of Denison University, Granville, Ohio (1920); a design for a floating airport (1929); a group portrait of an MIT class (1931); and plans for Rodney Square in Wilmington, Delaware (1916).

The collection also includes numerous business cards, calling cards, membership cards, gift cards, political cards, and cards for social events, such as small invitations and country club privileges. Businesses represented on the cards include fireworks companies, caterers, hotels, contractors, furnace companies, Tiffany & Co., Singer Sewing Machine Company, etc. Irénée du Pont's memberships include the Delaware Motorcycle Club, the American Liberty League, the American Game Association, the Magistrates and Constables Association, and the Republican Party. There are also Cadillac service cards, motorcycle registrations and a season ticket for the All-Wilmington Baseball League.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Related Material

Irénée du Pont papers (Accession 228), Manuscript and Archives Dept., Hagley Museum and Library

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Irénée du Pont photographs
Status:
Online
Author:
Jon M. Williams
Date:
2013.
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400