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DuPont Company Repauno Works centennial records

1980
 Collection
Identifier: 2450

Abstract

DuPont Company Repauno Works manufactured high-explosive dynamite. The company began as the Repauno Chemical Company on June 7, 1880, by Lammot du Pont (1831-1884), a chemist working for the family business, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, a chemical company that originally produced gunpowder. In 1980, the Repauno Works celebrated its centennial anniversary. This small collection contains materials generated in the process of organizing the centennial celebration of the Repauno Works.

Dates

  • 1980

Creator

Extent

1 volume(s)

Physical Description

Materials have been removed from original binder for preservation purposes. The binder has not been retained.

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 that 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 Repauno 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, 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, and especially nitric acid. In 1980, the Repauno Works celebrated its centennial anniversary.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains materials generated in the process of organizing the centennial celebration of the Repauno Works during 1980. Contents include the minutes of the Centennial Committe and the Book Committee, press releases, correspondence, memoranda, plant newsletters, cost estimates, newspaper clippings, scheduling for the plant open house, and a sample of a centennial pin. There is also a file of similar papers for advising the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of the Beaumont Works in Texas, and a copy of a company pamphlet on the use of DuPont logos and trademarks.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
DuPont Company Repauno Works centennial records
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Laurie Sather

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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