skip to searchskip to content
Atlantic Dynamite Company payroll books
print eadcite thisAsk Hagley
Atlantic Dynamite Company payroll books

Accession 2706

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library

PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807

Finding aid prepared by Christopher T. Baer, 2017.,

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2017-04-21T09:45-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Atlantic Dynamite Company payroll books (Accession 2706), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807


Descriptive Summary

Title: Atlantic Dynamite Company payroll books
Dates: 1872-1898
Accession Number: 2706
Creator: Atlantic Dynamite Company.
Extent: 4 volumes
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: Entries listing employees, hours worked, and wages paid at a dynamite plant at Kenvil, N.J.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions. The collection is open for research.


Historical Note

The Atlantic Giant Powder Company was organized in California on November 2, 1870 and filed formal incorporation papers on June 12, 1876. It was designed to be the eastern affiliate of the Giant Powder Company of San Francisco, a major manufacturer of dynamite, and in 1871 constructed a plant at McCainsville (Kenvil), N.J., southwest of Dover and near a major iron-mining area. About ten Chinese immigrant workers had to be sent from San Francisco to get the plant up and running, the last staying until 1879. On April 15, 1874, the Giant Powder Company transferred to the Atlantic Giant Powder Company all the rights to the Nobel dynamite patents for the territory roughly lying east of the Rocky Mountains.

After Lammot du Pont, William du Pont and the Laflin & Rand Powder Company acquired a one-third interest, the company was renamed the Atlantic Dynamite Company on August 16, 1882. A separate New Jersey holding company, the Atlantic Dynamite Company of New Jersey, was incorporated on June 29, 1895. In June 1904 the Kenvil Works passed into the hands of the Eastern Dynamite Company and thus under the complete control of the du Pont interests. With the court-ordered breakup of DuPont in 1911-1912, ownership of the Kenvil Plant passed to the new spin-off Hercules Powder Company.


Scope and Content

The volumes are monthly payroll registers in which the number of hours worked and wages paid are entered In the first volume, workers signed their named or made their marks by the pay entry. The first volume also contains the names of the first Chinese workers. In the later volumes, the workers time is entered as a total and then broken down by department.


Access Points

Wages--Explosives industry

Series Descriptions and Inventory

1 1872 October-1881 March
2 1882 October-1889 May
3 1889 June-1894 February
4 1894 March-1898 September