Du Pont Company – 1802
Throwback Thursday brings us to the year 1802 with Eleuthere Irenee Du Pont (E.I. Du Pont), a young French immigrant, and the start of The E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company in Wilmington, Delaware. Du Pont had learned how to mill gunpowder in France during his youth. Realizing an opportunity for a business producing black powder in America, he quickly found investors in France to support his endeavor. Du Pont’s company quickly became the largest supplier of gunpowder to the United States Military. Du Pont would eventually produce more than 4.5 billion pounds of explosives for the wars to follow.
One hundred years after inception, in 1902, Du Pont was producing smokeless powder and dynamite. Eventually, as Du Pont began to buyout their competition and continue to grow, the United States Government filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company for having a monopoly on the explosives industry. Du Pont lost the case and was forced to create subsidiaries. This would happen to Du Pont several times more throughout the years, each time being brought to court for having a monopoly over chemicals or products. Du Pont continued to grow and continued to develop new and amazing products. The list of Du Pont commodities is extensive: synthetic rubber, nylon, Teflon, polyester, Dacron, Mylar, lycra, Corian, genetically modified seeds, pesticides and much more.
Du Pont had over 150 research and development facilities worldwide in 2015 when they announced an agreement to merge with the Dow Chemical Company. The final merger of the companies will take place later this year when the company becomes Dow Du Pont valued at $130 Billion! The two companies will continue to retain their main offices in Delaware and Michigan.
The Gateway Museum at Nature’s Art Village has vintage Du Pont gunpowder on display at “The Oakdale Country Store”, a general store and pharmacy exhibit, where you can view all the major necessities of the 19th and 20th centuries. The many vendors at The Past Antiques Marketplace also feature a selection of vintage pharmacy items available for purchase. Visit The PAST Antiques Marketplace & Gateway Museum at Nature’s Art Village on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles.