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Pierre and Frederic A. Gentieu photographs

1884-1920
 Collection
Identifier: 1989-280

Abstract

Pierre A. Gentieu (1842-1930) was a long-term employee of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company who created an invaluable photographic record of the company's Brandywine Mills at the turn of the century. This is a small group of photographs related to northern New Castle County, Delaware. There are two photographs taken by Pierre and Frederic A. Gentieu, father and son, who photographed an August outing with a large group of men, women, and children.

Dates

  • 1884-1920

Creator

Extent

4 item(s)

General Phsyical Description

2 photographic prints : b&w ; 6 x 8.25 in. on board 7.75 x 9.75 in. 2 photographic prints : b&w ; 4 x 5 inch or smaller.

Biographical Note

Pierre A. Gentieu (1842-1930) was a photographer and a long-term employee of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. Gentieu was born in France in 1842. He immigrated to the United States in 1860. As a member of the local militia in New Orleans, Gentieu refused to swear allegiance to the Confederacy. In July of 1862 he enlisted with the 13th Regiment of Volunteers of Connecticut, which was formed in Louisiana.

He began working for DuPont in 1877 and remained a loyal employee until his retirement in 1911. In 1879, while on a lunch break Gentieu painted the Lower Yard. The painting impressed his direct supervisor, Lammot du Pont (1831-1884) who requested that Gentieu photograph it so that various members of the du Pont family could have a copy. Shortly after Gentieu was promoted to making sieves for separating powder grains. In 1881, he was promoted to yard clerk, and then later store keeper at the mills.

Drawing and photography were among Gentieu’s favorite pastimes. The du Pont’s allowed Gentieu to photograph the DuPont Co. plant, property, family members, and their homes. He created an invaluable photographic record of the company's Brandywine Mills at the turn of the century.

Frederick Auguste Gentieu (1872-1951) was Pierre Gentieu's oldest son. In 1937, he retired as Plant Manager from the DuPont Company's at the Carney's Point plant. He worked there for fifty-two years. He was one time Mayor of Penn's Grove, New Jersey, and chief of the fire department. He also was a Commander of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War in New Jersey and a 32nd Degree Mason.

Scope and Content

This is a small group of photographs related to northern New Castle County, Delaware. There are two photographs taken by Pierre and Frederic A. Gentieu, father and son, who photographed an August outing with a large group of men, women, and children. The earlier is titled "Point Lookout, Del., August 28, [18] '84'." Point Lookout was the farm of Francis Guerney du Pont (1850-1904) on Kennett Pike, Delaware. The second photograph seems to be of the same group on an outing held at Birmingham (Pennsylvania?) Park on August 20, 1886. It appears these could have been outings for DuPont Company families or church outings. There are two other images, a small photograph of James M. Smyth (1861-1937), the contractor who built Nemours, the mansion of Alfred I. du Pont (1864-1935) and a view taken of the Brandywine Creek just north of Walker's Mill showing workers' housing.

Location

GL Box 2.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Pierre and Frederic A. Gentieu photographs
Status:
Date:
2014
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