Today's #WorkerWednesday post takes us inside the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware to join its switchboard operators at work.
This photograph was taken in September 1948, and is part of Hagley Library's collection of E.I du Pont de Nemours & Co. Inc. Central Systems & Services Dept. records (Accession 1972.422).
The Hotel du Pont Company was organized on July 2, 1912, for the purpose of operating a hotel within the Du Pont Building in downtown Wilmington. Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954), one of the architects of the reorganized DuPont Company, was president, and his chief financial assistant, John J. Raskob (1879-1950), was secretary-treasurer.
The Hotel du Pont opened its doors to guests on January 15, 1913, with 150 guest rooms. The Hotel Company leased a section of the combined structure from the Du Pont Building Corporation. A separate subsidiary of the Building Corporation, The Play House Company, built and operated a 1300-seat theater within the same structure.
Both P.S. du Pont and John J. Raskob maintained suites at the hotel, and other du Pont family members resided there for various periods. Many company and family functions were held at the hotel's ballrooms and restaurants. Notable features were the Gold Ballroom, added in 1918, the Green Room, and the Brandywine Room of 1941.
On January 1, 1927, an agreement was made with the Bowman-Biltmore Hotels Corporation to operate the Hotel du Pont, and the name was changed to Hotel du Pont-Biltmore. The agreement was canceled in June 1933, and the operation reverted to the Hotel du Pont Company, and the name was returned to Hotel du Pont.
On June 30, 1934, The Hotel du Pont Company was dissolved, and its assets and liabilities were sold to the Du Pont Building Corporation. The Du Pont Building Corporation was dissolved in turn on September 30, 1936, and its assets transferred to E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company.
Since then, the hotel has been operated by managerial units of the DuPont Company: the Office Buildings Division (1936-1948), Office Buildings Department (1948-1953), General Services Department (1954-1971), Central Systems and Services Department (1971-1972), and General Services Department (1973-).
In the spring of 2015, after moving its headquarters out of the DuPont Building and transferring the hotel and DuPont Building to Chemours, a spin-off company created that same year, the DuPont Company began seeking a buyer for the hotel. It was sold to Buccini/Pollin Group, a Wilmington-based real estate developer, in February 2017.