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Hagley Museum staff conducted a series oral history interviews between 1954 and 1990, speaking primarily with individuals who had worked at the DuPont Company powder yards on Brandywine Creek during the yards’ final decades of operation or who had lived near the yards as spouses or children of DuPont Co. workers. Some of the individuals who were interviewed donated, lent for copying, or provided information on the photographs in this collection. The images primarily depict the worker communities which surrounded the E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company powder yards on Brandywine Creek or the powder yards themselves.
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company was established in 1802 by Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817) and his son Éleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771-1834). This collection of more than 1250 discrete photographs depicts the landscape and buildings at or near the company's explosives manufacturing plants along Brandywine Creek near Wilmington, Delaware. Approximately 900 images depict powder yard sites, including the DuPont Experimental Station, either during the mills' final decades of operation or prior to, during, and after excavation and restoration work on the site in the 1950s and 1960s. Most of the remaining images depict the worker communities which surrounded the powder yards.