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Frank Gifford Tallman papers

Creation: 1876-1946
Accession: 0381


Frank G. Tallman (1860-1938) was an executive of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. The collection includes personal and business papers of Tallman such as diaries, letter books, and correspondence files.


  • Creation: 1876-1946



22.4 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Frank Gifford Tallman (1860-1938) was a mechanical engineer and worked as an executive at several different companies before joining E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company in 1905. He was born January 26, 1860 in Dubuque, Iowa to Peleg Tallman (1836-1863) and Maria Hay Hudson (1837-1910). Following his father’s death in 1863, Frank Tallman, his mother, and brother lived with family in Portland, Maine. His mother married William Avery Sweet (1830-1904) and the family moved to Syracuse, New York.

Tallman studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University before going to work at his stepfather’s steel rolling mills. By age 25, he had been a superintendent of a small rolling mill in Windsor Locks, Connecticut; assistant foreman in the machine shops of the Corliss Steam Engine Works in Providence, Rhode Island; assistant superintendent and superintendent of Sweet’s Manufacturing Company in Syracuse; and general superintendent of the steel mills of Carnegie, Phipps & Company in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

On February 16, 1881, Tallman married Annie May Dickie (1859-1922). Annie was the daughter of Henry Dickie (1819-1906) and Catharine Weeks Daffler (1826-1871). Together, they had five children: William Sweet Tallman (1881-1961), Marian Ellen Tallman (1883-1970; married Irving R. Warner, of the Warner Company), Katharine Marie Tallman (1886-1945; married Thomas Woodnutt Miller), Ethel Amoret Tallman (1890-1981; married Louis Garner Bissell), and Frank Gifford Tallman (1894-1952). Seven years after his first wife’s death, Tallman married Julia Hays (1881-1972) in 1929.

Tallman’s association with the E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company began in 1905 when he took a position as director of purchases. He later became director and vice president in charge of purchases. He also served as president of several du Pont interests, including the DuPont Building Corporation, the Hotel du Pont Company, and the DuPont Playhouse Company. Additionally, he was member of the Executive Committee and Finance Committee, as well as being one of five heads of departments included in a syndicate organized by Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) and associates which purchased the entire interest of General T. Coleman du Pont (1863-1930) in the DuPont Company. Tallman retired from the company after twenty years of service in 1925.

After retiring, Tallman turned his interests to philanthropy. He established the Tallman Foundation at Bowdoin College, contributed to the John Edison Sweet Memorial Professorship at Cornell, provided a cottage for girls at the Onondaga County Orphan’s Home in Syracuse, and donated a set of chimes to the Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church in Wilmington.

Tallman died April 1, 1938 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes personal and business papers of Frank G. Tallman (1860-1938) such as diaries, letter books, and correspondence files.

Correspondence makes up a large portion of the collection. There are a set of letterbooks, and then the correspondence filed alphabetically in date ranges, sometimes mixing outgoing letters in with the incoming letters. Correspondents are both personal and professional.

Financial materials document houshold expenses, personal expenses, stocks and loans, insurance policies, taxes, wills and trusts, and estate papers. There are also materials that show Tallman's community service and charity work. Many of the banking materials are related to Wilmington Trust Co., however, many other banks are represented.

There is a small portion of DuPont Company materials related to bonus issues, stock certificates, inter-office correspondence, congratulatory letters on appointments, and letter of resignation. Additionally, several correspondents are DuPont colleagues and business associates.

There are four scrapbooks in the collections, some containing photographs. There is one related to the Wiggins murder case contain material dated between 1912 and 1916.

Access Restrictions

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

Related Materials

Frank G. Tallman photographs (Accession 1972.436), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Tallman family papers (Accession 0419), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Tallman family papers, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.

Language of Materials


Related Names


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Frank Gifford Tallman papers
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