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E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Repauno Works historical files

1918-1983 Majority of material found within 1965-1983
 Collection
Identifier: 2387

Abstract

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Repauno Works manufactured high explosive dynamite. The company began as the Repauno Chemical Company on June 7, 1880 founded by Lammot du Pont (1831-1884). Lammot du Pont was a chemist working for the family business, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, a chemical company which originally produced gunpowder. This collection consists of material for the 100th anniversary of the E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Repauno Works.

Dates

  • 1918-1983
  • Majority of material found within 1965-1983

Creator

Extent

1 Linear Foot

Historical Note

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Repauno Works manufactured high explosive dynamite. The company began as the Repauno Chemical Company on June 7, 1880 founded by Lammot du Pont (1831-1884). Lammot du Pont was a chemist working for the family business, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, a chemical company which originally produced gunpowder. Additional subscriptions were secured from E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (DuPont Company), the Laflin & Rand Powder Company, and the Hazard Powder Company, the latter already controlled by the DuPont Company. Initially, the DuPont Company did not get involved in dynamite production directly; it felt the product too new and dangerous, but supported Lammot du Pont in his efforts. The company built its works at a remote site on the Delaware River near Gibbstown, New Jersey, taking its name from nearby Repaupo Creek Explosions claimed a number of lives over the course of dynamite production, including Lammot du Pont’s in an explosion in 1884.

The Eastern Dynamite Company was incorporated in New Jersey on June 28, 1895, for the purpose of acquiring the stocks of the Repauno Chemical Company, the Hercules Powder Company in California, and the Atlantic Dynamite Company and operating them in the interest of the big three gunpowder producers. In 1902, the cousins Alfred I. du Pont (1864-1935), Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) and T. Coleman du Pont (1863-1930) acquired control of DuPont, Laflin & Rand and Hazard, and in the following year they vested all operations in the E.I. du Pont de Nemours Powder Company. The Repauno Chemical Company was merged into the Eastern Dynamite Company in May 1904. In 1902, the du Ponts built the Eastern Laboratory, one of their first research facilities, at the Repauno Works.

In 1912, DuPont was ruled in violation of the antitrust laws, and to restore competition, parts of its assets were transferred to two new, independent firms, the Atlas Powder Company and the Hercules Powder Company. Under this plan, the Eastern Dynamite Company was dissolved, and its plants distributed among the new companies. The Repauno Works stayed with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company as part of its Explosives Department.

The Eastern Laboratory was responsible for bringing production of TNT to Repauno. After the TNT manufacturing process was refined, production moved from the Eastern Laboratory to Repauno. Despite following strict safety procedures, the Repauno Works experienced another devastating explosion on May 15, 1916. The explosion killed fourteen people and destroyed two buildings. The explosion stood for nearly fifty years as the worst in DuPont Company history. The TNT plant was not rebuilt at Repauno. Following World War I, chemists at the Eastern Laboratory began to explore acid production. Throughout the interwar period and following World War II, acid production was refined. In 1954, dynamite production was phased out in favor of the production of commodity chemicals, primarily acids, especially nitric acid. In 1980, the Repauno Works celebrated its centennial anniversary.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of a small historical file formerly kept at the Repauno Works. The majority of the materials focuses on the 100th anniversary of the Works. There are company histories prepared for the centennial, as well as, correspondence, guest lists, and thank you notes from centennial attendees. Included are organizational charts, other information about the Repauno Works, and various DuPont employee publications including Dynam-Item.

Related Material

Repauno Works photographs (Accession 1976.309), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Separated Materials

Publications from this collection are housed in the Published Collections Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Repauno Works photographs and films (Accession 2015.226), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Repauno Works historical files
Status:
Author:
Jason Sylvestre
Date:
2007
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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