Skip to main content
Notice: The Soda House Reading Room will be closed for winter break from December 20 through January 1. We will reopen Tuesday, January 2, 2024. The Library is open for research by appointment only, please visit our research services page for more information.

Willis F. Harrington engineer's notebook

Creation: 1905-1907
Accession: 2440


Engineer's notebook kept by future DuPont Company vice president Willis F. Harrington (1882-1960) while an entry-level engineer at the Barksdale Works in Wisconsin.


  • Creation: 1905-1907



1 volume(s)

Biographical Note

Willis F. Harrington (1882-1960) was vice president of the DuPont Company, as well as serving on the Board of Directors and the executive committee.

Harrington was born July 24, 1882 in Farmington, Delaware to Charles J. Harrington (1835-1900) and Mary Watson (1847-1927). He graduated from Delaware College (now the University of Delaware) in 1902 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology three years later.

During the summer of 1904, Harrington worked as a chemist at the Eastern Laboratory. Upon completion of his college work, he rejoined DuPont as a chemist at the Barksdale, Wisconsin explosives plant. A year later, in 1906, he became assistant superintendent of the plant and in 1909 was made superintendent of the company's dynamite plant at Du Pont, Washington.

In 1915, Harrington assisted in the organization of smokeless powder manufacture at the Haskell and Carney's Point plants. He was made manager of the latter plant in 1917. In 1919, he was transferred to the miscellaneous manufacturing department and became its director. In 1921, he was appointed director of the dye-stuffs department, becoming assistant general manager in a new plan of organization the same year.

In 1924, he became general manager of teh department and it was while Harrington held this post that DuPont developed into one of the country's leading manufacturers of organic chemicals.

He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1927 and was designated a vice president and member of the executive committee in 1929. In 1948, he was named a member of the committee on audit and in 1952 was appointed to the bonus and salary committee.

Outside of his work for DuPont, Harrington was involved with a number of organizations including the Delaware Hospital, Westminster Presbyterian Church, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, and the Wilmington Club.

Harrington married Elizabeth Townsend Flett on October 29, 1910. They had three sons: Charles, George, and Willis Jr. Harrington died September 8, 1960 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Scope and Contents

Engineer's notebook kept by future DuPont Company vice president Willis F. Harrington (1882-1960) while an entry-level engineer at the Barksdale Works in Wisconsin. The notebook contains tables showing the composition of various grades of powder, the quantities of cartridges fitting into various sized containers, chemical formulas and recipes, and other useful notes on processes and operations at the plant.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Related Materials

Willis F. Harrington papers (accession 1813), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Language of Materials


Related Names


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Willis F. Harrington engineer's notebook
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Revision Statements

  • 2020: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA